starting now, on c-span 2, booktv's live "in depth" program, this month we does discuss the december 7, 1941 attack on pearl harbor with steve well toey, irry hotta, and craig nelson. and the attack left over 2,000 dead, 1,000 wounded and crippled the united states navy. for the next three hours, we'll take your questions. you can call in, e-mail us at book email@example.com and post on our facebook wall. you're watching live "in depth" on booktv. >> 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 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 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. 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 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 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. 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. 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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. >> 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 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 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 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: 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. as well as 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 really felt inside because mothers had to send their kids to -- boys to battlefields and might never come back. 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 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. >> 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 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 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 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 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. >> 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 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 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 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 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 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 archives.gov. 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 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 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. >> 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 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 veterans, see fdr's speech to congress 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. i'm not a veteran of pearl harbor or world war ii, i'm actually from vietnam era, but my experience in japan caused me to have a greater appreciation of the japanese people as well as the fact that i was able to attend college with two pearl harbor japanese survivors in pearl harbor. to thing that set me back at first in japan in 1958, i had
people do things, so do not have enough courage to misjudge, >> host: how many americans were in japan in 1941 and how many got stuck there throughout the war? >> guest: americans of japanese passports in total at least the number is around 100. >> host: just 100. >> guest: just 100. they included people like walter rose, people with dual passports and people who are stuck just visiting family with japanese propaganda appeared many of their students as well. >> host: joses is group? >> guest: the ambassadors to japan in a counterpart in washington.
he was married to someone who is the grandest as matthew perry who forced japan by diplomacy. tenth century very much a sentimental appointment for him as well. for him to see the progress that the society that his relatives help unleash, but then you see it crumble within a matter of seven or eight years must've been calling to him. he did everything. he was the great japanese interests. no one could make sense of the working japanese government, but he tried in his eloquent letters, i think he explains better than anyone in japanese
government could have. >> guest: he was in anguish at the in anguish over back to a country. his letters were filled with this is not what i see around me and he tried. hard i think to avoid what he suspected was coming and i believe when the war broke out, everyone in the embassy of course was interned and eventually they were exchanged before ambassador and gomorrah and the members of the japanese embassy, they're actually exchanged on the east coast of africa. >> host: 1943, wasn't it? >> guest: 1942. ships have left respectively from new york and i'm not sure where japan, that yokohama.
it was that what i think is today most in the that the various embassies were exchanged and was a friend so they knew each other and respect each other and were afraid during this meeting that they would meet and he wouldn't -- it would be a comfortable moment and act they did it literally walking down the street of the city in which the exchange was occurring and grew resolutely and cap dice forward, even though the more i was trying to catch his eye. it hurt him to ignore his friend, but he thought diplomatic niceties protocol required him not to acknowledge the other country. so i think start to finish it was a very painful at periods. >> host: i think i read in your book that the ambassador was kept at the hot springs resort in virginia.
>> guest: yes, we found a journalist he was interned and what we found out interviewing him was that the bora was really broken by this. he says the united states and japan were like two children and if only the english have been involved this would not happen there is nothing he could do to stop it. but we also found out a piece of americans at that time was the double cross named after the other japanese ambassador. >> host: delights in torrington, connecticut. >> caller: i have basically two questions. one is i've read that there is a lag between the attack on pearl harbor and the philippines and that macarthur didn't really prepare very well for the short time he had before the japanese hit the philippines.
secondly, no one ever seems to talk about the diplomatic cachet to hawaii at the time who was actually doing spying for the japanese and was commenting to japan on the number of ships when they would be there and he did also tell his work for almost a year before the attack and i've never heard anyone talk about him very much and i don't remember his name. and her comments. >> host: craig nelson, do you want her? >> guest: sure, i spent quite a bit of time on a japanese guy who did a fantastic job because the embassy where he pretended to work, he would act like a good time charlie who would show up late and not doing that to work and all the embassy staff was lousy, no good. the reason he did that was so not somewhat suspect he was searching for the japanese navy.
outside of the embassy he was the greatest tourist to why he diapers teen. each day tour and went swimming in the channel. he did everything. in fact, he went to the famous house on the outskirts of honolulu to get a view of pearl harbor. so i went to the tea house to get the exact same thing. he spoke many times how wonderful it was to be attended to by the geishas. there are geishas but she can't see any of pearl harbor. >> guest: actually i think he was much more of a self promoter then he was a rails by. he 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 climb up a little bit into the hills. we can all stand there and count ships just like he did. he had some expertise in identifying individual types of
ships, but he inflated much at the own legend as years went on. he did send back reports. they were extremely essential, but he became more bondage as the years went on in his own mind. i don't want to understate his significance. he was providing vital intelligence including on the day before the attack actually telling tokyo what i thought was probably a subordinate advising superiors a little bit too much. he said this looks like a good opportunity for a surprise attack. i'm not sure it was a wise thing to put that in a message, but could and in fact was intercepted. so he is fascinating. i agree. he's integral to the story.
>> guest: there with an eight hour delay between when the philippines were attacked. one of the great mysteries to this day what was the thinking that he just sat there and did absolutely nothing and maybe he couldn't imagine it in the same way campbell couldn't imagine it. >> guest: i think about husband kimmel to know that he was so vilified in macarthur and somehow escaped penalty for being surprised in a less excusable way. macarthur of course went on to say husband kimmel was only heard of in a negative sense for the rest of his life. >> host: adm and honolulu. how quickly did washington find out about the attack push america >> guest: washington found that about 8:00 a.m. in hawaii. 1:30 in the afternoon on sunday in washington.
the first word that the secretary of the navy received was from a messenger who showed up at his office where he was at slate ran talking with the chief of naval operations herald start and i believe roy ingersoll, the assistant chief naval operations as they appeared through three of them with their and arrived. she started the ranking person. knox is a civilian at the newspaper guy with 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. it has to be an air and start up the message and he could read the sender and is it a building go. he this is perl that is telling
them they're some underway at that moment. at that same moment or perhaps a little before, husband kimmel himself came out and stood on his lawn. he lived and bring your quarters, residents built ford the commander-in-chief of the pacific fleet and of little volcanic rise. the house is still the quarters of the commander-in-chief of the pacific fleet. and it overlooks the harbor. you can get a very clear view especially than before trees grew up. and he had received a telephone call about a report watching a submarine or a submarine attack off the channel. and then someone on the phone told him there's an air raid underway. imax is a price he needed to know that by telephone. he could hear the flames but he stepped out on this yard and he could see what was happening beneath him.
i think that's one of the most poignant moments in american history. he had a spotless record up until that point. everything he had done has succeeded at. all the decisions he had been making in the previous 12 days weren't now the truly blown up before his eyes and he knew his career was over at that point. this is going to be a catastrophe unfolding beneath him. his neighbor, the wife of one of his officers came as that on the lawn described his face has been as wide as his uniform. you really feel for him that he could be so wrong. and of course the day got no better from that point forward. >> host: washington knew within minutes. >> guest: i was a guest at communications between the two were far less sophisticated.
we have no satellite that could be in television pictures before the distance. and there were no tv stations in hawaii is a testing lab. in his remarks, roosevelt was only able to provide details of what happened. they knew it was bad. they knew many people have been killed, but the totality was still difficult to find out anything but remains though. they weren't anxious to make that public. >> guest: yet the press secretary told the press we are same 300 died. when cbs among others that are affiliate for much worse than not, and they said you'll be giving if you pay figures. now when you go to the
december 8th headline, you'll see how the world. >> guest: 243.com 1178 wounded in craig nelson reports in his book pearl harbor from infamy -- "pearl harbor: from infamy to greatness" that birds constituted 60% of the injured. blitzer earned brandon mishawaka indiana on a world war ii vet line. you had the tv. good afternoon. >> thank you. good afternoon to you guys. i was bedridden of world war ii and i served in the philippines in d-day at okinawa. my saying incidents after the war was over we were dispatched to go to powell that which without the use of the philippines to pick up 27,000 bypass soldiers and sailors and we made several trips back, but
when we were done on our tank back, they were medics have wrote what we call paul mimetic english. i said where did you learn how to write that? he said ucla. he said ucla? yes i graduated last year. just before the pearl harbor and i went home and my folks that say another two weeks. my brother says is said so there i was. we had a good job acting ucla. we had a 27,000 men back at some of the more looking back at us and i said why do some of these
guys like to tear me up? he says well, a lot of them went to manchuria, came home and made tvs. then they got to korea, came home and then they went to china. and then we were doing different things and they send them out by them so that was part of the propaganda because of what the americans were doing. that is part of the story that i like to tell people. there is a lot of people that i've met in tocqueville that were very friendly and always smiling and stuff like that. >> host: raymond, have you visited some of the sites you participated in during world war ii? >> guest: now, i haven't. i've never been out there but my teenage years i was eight teen
and i got drafted out of high school and my heart is out there quite a bit. as a high school monitor up until a couple years ago and died away stop at the asian grocer find out if they are firm. one girl and they said okinawa and so we got talking a little bit and things i really changed. she's taller than i am and most of the people there were a lot shorter. now i'm down about 57. >> i'll be 91 pretty soon. >> host: thank you for calling. we appreciate it. >> guest: and they get moved by these real words of people going through that or those experiences. unimaginable.
i wish you would write these things down that later generations can listen. >> host: what about japanese veterans of world war ii? >> guest: i think some people that keep it to themselves. some of them are active about writing things down. there's an oral history archive in public rod caster in each space. there's a bit of unfilled interviews as well in the national library does that. not enough people are looking i'm not. as long as they are there, the memories don't just slip away. >> host: do any of you know, are there survivors pearl harbor in japan? or five men living in uss arizona attack. do you know of any japanese survivors from pearl harbor? >> guest: my guess is they are
in pearl harbor this week, but i don't know that. that's a good question. >> host: matsuo pushy guy. >> guest: one of the great stories of this book is -- turned pink and optibase is turned red. he was quite a fascinating character and he trained in the sum was state-of-the-art technique. my favorite was how they figured out how to do torpedo because they had to launch their torpedoes in the shallow water. they found that the american naval aviator could patent the technique for doing this. they followed it and network can make a man and then they flew at 12 feet over the water. they would drop 1500 years before the target and immediately have to climb before crashing to the ships of the
structure. that's why you have some other parts of people from pearl harbor being able to see the faces of the japanese pilots because they were flying over. one of the pilots told me when we drop the torpedoes and the father has flashed up three new we were flying through. >> guest: the fact that within a sort of warning at all, just an hour it even, the torpedo planes which rebuild the plane for the attack of the most vulnerable because they were so low might not have been able to do the damage they did because if any aircraft fire had been there, they would then hard to miss. but the fact that the fleet is still unaware enabled this extremely vulnerable aspect of the attack to go forward for his, which was essential because by far the greatest damage was
done by torpedoes to the battleships. and so, that is why at any number of places if reports had been taken more seriously, at least the fleet could have been -- all hands could have been back and waiting for what was coming. >> host: you tell the story of the later life. >> guest: yes, there's two incredible stories of reconciliation and i got to hear from both sides. one of the two was a man named jacob to shader which is taken prisoner and he was sort of best part of the dolittle for a company he was served are treated as a war criminal and he was really abused in prison and came to awakening answer to turn his life over to religion and christiachristia nity when he realized if he could forgive these people that it would
change life and he did and it did. many years later he was preaching in japan and they came across the late pilot in the attack who was also lost in that odd in the japanese has repudiated the entire history of world war ii. he sought asylum to this talk and ended up preaching together. in fact, all the descendents are now in california. >> host: our next call comes from hawaii. this is shown in connolly of hawaii. >> guest: good morning. >> caller: at money. purchased in 1872 under the kingdom in the first japanese immigrants came in the 1880s to serve on the plantation, the
sugar and pineapple plantation during the day of the attack sought a generation that had become americans. one of them taught me history and the air national guard. he was alerted and during the attack, he had to call people and secure them to safe places. he was in his air guard, running towards her. the thing about that is its surprise that america and in interning american japanese. the second thing is the 442nd
union were one of the bravest. i leave out with that question question -- [inaudible] by one should a comment about that. >> host: what do you do in hawaii? >> guest: is on the eastern side of the island. about 20 people died on that day's. they have a memorial there, they had a memorial service this week coming up. one is named after a guy that thought on the base -- thought on the base. i want to talk about the other installation as well.
>> guest: to great defense was actually at the airport which was based at wheeler and the marine base in a naval air station. we have an incredible tale of heroism because all of the planes under the orders of the army commander there had been lined up to protect against sabotage, so they made fantastic target for side bombers and they were just taking out air forces were just completely devastated. on their way to pearl harbor. the moment happens in the chief ordinance had 32 and says he's not going to take it anymore and he pulls a machine gun and sets it up on the apron and starts taking down japanese planes and make little base for him to keep doing this.
the hospital said that he was shot 30 times. he was bleeding from 30 wins, including at the end of all of this he said it just wasn't my day to die and he won the medal of honor. >> it is interesting there was an enormous amount of instant heroism on the part of ships and at the base is. but in fact it is a very one-sided engagement. we did not shoot down all that many japanese planes. it was 29 for 39, something like that. that is not to diminish the heroism that did occur, the captain of one chipset if he had to give a mile to all those who acted heroically that day, the whole crew would have to have gotten a medal. but roosevelt was asked that
night when he was addressing the cabinet how many of them did we get and he quickly camped on the notion that this was a fair fight because it was. >> host: 10 years ago john finn is that the anniversary. here's a picture of him with some of the cohorts. >> guest: i said what did you think of them as think of them as they come to ben affleck movie. the actress is her very pretty. >> host: anything yet to add to this conversation this morning? >> guest: i'm overwhelmed you have the bad luck of being born to them and you'd have to ensure commitment to the state as a force to protect you which the japanese state didn't.
it's just such an unfair world. >> guest: was there said affiche by the japanese citizens in the japanese-americans living there? leading up to pearl harbor? >> guest: the american government to type it, but i'm not so sure how accurate. i think one problem is local japanese newspapers repeated many of the propagandistic report of the country that anybody could be suspect in the publication for translation of that information gathering in the newspaper. i think that is quite a blurry line. although i may be stating the obvious up to 40% of the people is japanese, american japanese ancestors into the irony of attacking that island just so
enormous. the fact that the location was performed many times as a piece.venue is doubly ironic. >> host: we know the internment camps have been for americans on the mainland. did they happen in japan as well? >> guest: the western ally? yes, it did. they were mostly house in the mountainous resort to assert of isolated. >> host: the tear from michael in pooler, georgia. hi, michael. >> caller: hello, thank you for taking my call and thank you to the panel. i'm an african-american and veteran of the vietnam war. in the spring of 1944, my father which is now fort stuart to the
pacific and the black americans normally did service where he became a stevedore and all the discharge papers he was discharged. my call is about the american propensity about white supremacy. good white supremacy have been a part for having america not prepared. do you think that maybe if they took the japanese people to send troops to the philippines with all that talking between them before pearl harbor feel like it would apply to philippines, but more men on the midway. >> host: michael, thank you. all three of you talk about the issue of racism in different
ways in your books. let's go around the table. >> guest: white supremacy having not americana could've been prevented. >> host: you can take anywhere you want. you talk about the issue that there was colonialism, imperialism attitude. >> guest: the reckless decision to enter a war that you are certain you are not going to win doesn't mean that compares to a history of colonialism. that's really not the point. you can explain resentful feelings and pent-up negative feelings that many japanese leaders included. you can ask a man but they are no excuse for a misjudgment that you make for other people, the citizens who are supposed to be bleeding and protect him. that is my feeling about it.
i think the feeling of being wronged and cheated was very real, has always been real sense the opening of japan in 1868. all the restoration. so yeah. >> host: steve twomey, how do you look at it? >> guest: i think regional superiority is a major explanation for why the attack happened. i think the best evidence of that i would start with is in the hour shortly after the attack there were rumors in washington and congress of the germans have helped plant the attack and some of them have actually flown the attack planes. the implication being that the japanese were built enough to do this on their own. this reflect an ongoing ethos within the military that the japanese were a second tier
military power. they planes did not work very well. their aircraft carriers didn't work too good and they were in some cases physiologically hampered in their ability to be good pilot. there were people in the navy department to try to counteract the tendency they had born in japan for new japan and would try to educate their superiors that they actually can fly airplanes. they make good pilots. but it was a very hard mentality to overcome is one of the officers in the navy department said the price was just filled with how we beat them in a minute. it would take nothing at all to overcome japan because they are not that good. when you have that mentality, it lulls you into a belief that the figure theoretically could imagine happened really couldn't
have been. they couldn't pull it off. >> host: i'd like to tell you -- >> guest: a crusade to say about the military intelligence agents appears before believed admirals in the department of foreign aid as this incredible presentation on how the japanese aircrews have had 10 years experience fighting over china. the japanese torpedo technology in the first years of world war ii couldn't hit it in with its torpedoes. the japanese fighter plane was better than ours and that these doing the heartfelt presentation and we need to start treating japan seriously. people on the table start laughing. because what are you laughing about? we're talking about this fundamental pico. the commander of one of the big airbases is outrageous to me. everyone knows america is
inferior to japan. her favorite racism story involves a massive 10 minute game stories -- mr. miller wanted to join the sharecropper family was unable to join because he was black. and during the attack they said why don't she why don't you hand me the ammunition. for his great bravery u.n. and maybe start. but he died in the philippines three years later and many people are very upset he had not won the medal of honor and he became a hair of the civil rights movement, which led. >> host: there he is giving away from chester nimitz to
replace campbell. we are talking with craig nelson, steve twomey and eri hotta about their books which we've shown you the cover of. we have about another hour and 25 minutes to go in our program. if you're on the line, don't hang up. he can get through on the line, try our social media avenues avenues@booktv. they spoke.com/booktv if you want to participate in the conversation as well. we like to show you one more book cover. this is donald stratton, all the gallant man is the name of his book. he is a survivor who was on the uss arizona, one of five still living. we talked to him earlier this week. donald stratton, where were you an sms event, 1941?
>> guest: i was aboard the uss arizona pearl harbor. >> host: what were you doing there? >> guest: that was sunday morning. i was just getting ready for a child. a clean sweep down. then acting on sunday. >> host: how did you get on the arizona? how long had you been in the navy? >> guest: i had been there a little over a year. >> host: were you an endless state? did you enlist in the navy? >> guest: yes, i did. >> host: why? >> guest: well, there just wasn't much in nebraska, not much money floating around. forty-one dollars a month sounded pretty good. >> host: what was your job on the arizona?
>> guest: does the first class. >> host: what did that entail? what kind of duties? >> guest: at me and said the round of times in the boats come out of the water and paid them up, whatever. and scraping and painting. >> host: what do you remember about september 7th? walk us through that day. >> guest: [laughter] i remember a lot of things. 5:30 in the morning, we were all up and around another look when sweep down on sunday morning. we went to chow, picked up some oranges on the tables left over from this going to take it to my buddy and hamas said and went
and came around, went into my locker to get something and went out to the battle of the ship hollering about pearl harbor or ford island. they probably saw the water tower go. they've got the japanese were headed one deck above the bridge. i had to go up about five ladders to get there. >> host: once you reach your battle station, what were you able to do? >> host: what does that mean?
>> guest: aside from the planes that were scraping us inside him and asked, what other we were shooting 90 degrees and we couldn't shoot portside because the vessel was tied up alongside and we couldn't shoot towards the other side because part of our structures in the way and so we were shooting high altitude bombers. our fuses were not reaching. >> host: donald stratton, you write in your new book, although ballot meant when the bombs had arizona. what happened at that point? >> guest: well, it went right in the 2500-pound bomb.
the number two starboard bow in a million pounds of ammunition in the aviation gasoline to the lab, blue 110-foot at the valve clear off one of the 600 or 800 feet in the air. >> host: did you see the fireball at the time? >> guest: how could you miss it. >> host: what do you recall about the noise or the smalls? >> guest: well, a of a noise in the fireball went about senator 800 feet in the air which weighs one deck above the bridge. >> host: how did you get off the ship? >> guest: well, that was another thing.
we ran the director and after it kind of died down, we went down on deck, which was red hot on the vessel and the sailor dared by the name of joe george and he told us that he had been -- [inaudible] so that the line would carry a cross and take it for five times to get over there. we pulled that across. we had that up on arizona and we proceed to go hand over hand across that line which was about 70, 80 feet. >> host: how long did the attack last?
>> guest: i couldn't tell you that. it's in the record books. >> host: 335 sailors got the uss arizona. 1100 to perish. >> guest: at 1177 perished. they were five of the surviving today. >> guest: that is right. >> host: will you be going to the reunion this year, 75th anniversary? >> guest: i have every intention of the matter. >> host: when you leave for hawaii? >> guest: we leave tomorrow. >> host: mr. stratton, we've injured in the attack? >> guest: is burned over 70% of my body. >> host: what was the recovery process like? >> guest: it took a year. >> host: what hospital? s. go they shoot me back to
california and from their medical discharge. back home for a year, reenlisted, went back in and had to go through boot camp and wanted at least 100 through their in the cpl and they wanted me to stay there and then sent me to treasure island there is a request for the uss stack and went to board their proceeded to the south pacific and we were there planting new kidney and a couple islands offshore and then we were going to pick up some
troops and put them in the mood that the invasion in two okay now i'm than we were on patrol for a number of days and night. but their readers syndicate of the old from japan and the sauce five ships one night. there was about 100 ships or whatever it was an okay now what. when i left there they went to san diego for a while. back to san diego and i had to finish the school and the second
time in december 1945. >> host: donald stratton, what did people think when you dream of today and february 1944? >> guest: how could i tell what they're thinking? >> guest: you write about the fact that the draft board was a little perplexed. >> guest: i had to go through the draft where to get a hold of the navy so i could go back in. they weren't reluctant adult. >> host: luke hunter, monocoque, and tim potts and warren burger by the other five survivors. do you feel a special connection to them? >> guest: barnburner was in the direct direct me and they went across one of the six that went across the line.
tim and i are the only ones that are still alive. >> host: why did she wait so long to put down your memoir? >> guest: well, the thing that happened fair living day-to-day and week to week and year to year, whatever. nobody ever said anything about the story and it came out a little bit at one time and the lady heard it and he approached me and from there that's what happened. >> host: that is can die or your coast writer. mr. stratton, you also less in your book the failures of the u.s. military and planning for this attack. you say that the u.s. was not prepared, did not communicate and was overconfident.
>> guest: well, i can't attest to that, but they left off at the hardware and actually didn't pay much attention to it. the radar picked up all those planes coming in from the north of menorah side of the island and they said that the b-17s coming from the united states, that there were 200 planes in the air and 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? >> guest: well, it is something that i think about every day. but it's kind of tired, but it's kind of nice to go back and pay homage to all the sailors and
marines and all the affaires air force base says and all the people that perished that day. >> host: donald stratton is a survivor of the uss arizona on december 7, nate 31. the attacking pearl harbor is 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 tv. >> guest: okay, is that it? >> host: yes, sir. a pleasure and honor to talk to you. >> guest: thank you, thank you. >> host: that was donald stratton, one of five survivors of the uss arizona. he spent a lot of time. you get a lot of information from the survivors? >> guest: actually i have to confess that the lesson about
their survivors, so i didn't speak with any who are still with us. in fact, one of the difficult things about having been a journalist of my life was attempting to read about something 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 worst maladies and characters as you read what they testify to. plus there are many oral histories. painting a great gap in our knowledge involves channel. he testified a lot, but he was not given to writing. he wrote about autobiography. but he did come at a very bad when i have to say.
but i don't leave he participated in any world histories and the letters he left behind at the university of wyoming don't really shed much on his thinking and his actions in this period. i would give anything to find letters that i am certain he was writing to his wife in the months before the attack. he was sort of thing remains to me a mystery of the whole attack. >> host: craig nelson, had this oral histories of survivors and valuable? >> guest: what we sense a fascinating if you look in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, you could find not in. my theory is that they were so traumatized by what happened with them that it took until they were in their 60s and 70s than facing their own mortality and maybe having grandchildren to sedative breach
that terrible ptsd they suffered. so starting in the 90s you had this fantastic record and then it starts dying down. >> host: is world war ii pearl harbor discussed in japanese schools but we discuss it here? >> guest: no, not at all. one of the motivators for writing this book was i wanted to figure out for myself. i have school students in the united states i first encountered the question of pearl harbor. i had no idea. i try to ask a military dictatorship being put into it. they don't really make sense together. and so i started this question of why did japan launch a war that we were sure to lose.
it still doesn't make sense that i put my finger on the malfunctioning of the system and also a few bashan and that this possibility that are still upon the problem in japanese culture today. the translation of my book and japan, the subtitle is called origins of modern japan. [laughter] the idea that nobody owned up to that but its ability and they think that everybody is responsible, therefore nobody is on the boat. it is still there. the fact that the origins of world war ii and pearl harbor, the fact that it doesn't get discussed, the problem that perpetuated in the systemic of the cold war because america
wanted a very powerful ally and japan of which is still on and they don't want the power that could rein in the more rebellious sort of leftist types that could challenge the conservative order that was perpetuated despite the fall of the wartime government. many people stayed in power and they wartime symbol of japanese greatness perpetuated in position and it's nothing personal. i don't have anything personal. the fact that they take it for granted that he was not responsible, has been to touche and was not responsible or that only a group of people who are responsible saturday dave the
whole question of why did japan have to start the war to begin with? they'd much concentrate on their own but tim hurd. they survived the earthquake and tsunami. active perseverance is amazing and something to be respect. but didn't solve the problem of the question. >> host: here's a little bit of oral history from the u.s. national world war ii museum. >> i felt in my bones something major was about to happen. it seemed inevitablinevitabl e. the move to pearl harbor was not at all surprisingly emotional. there is no let's give the yanks a test of what we've got coming. none of that.
just i guess this is finally starting. the first wave was an hour ahead of us and the scheduled time for their attack was sunday at 8:00 a.m. i figured that the first wave must've heard he arrived by now but i still couldn't see a wahoo. and just then from under the cloud and i finally saw some thing later in white but i knew it had to be the airbase at ford island. i headed out towards diamondhead descending from an altitude of 3500 meters. then as the unit commander i gave the order to make the assault. my mission in the second wave was to attack aircraft carriers and suppress the american emergency response and the counterattack.
but the carriers i were suppose to bomb weren't there for at least we didn't know their actual location. at first i was disappointed because it seemed my targets weren't there at all. the battleships were all lined up in battleship alley, tennessee, arizona, west virginia, maryland and all that. i actually wound up attacking the arizona, but nothing happened as a result of my attack. what i mean by that is that you're releasing the ordinance, i've realized that arizona was already a meter below the water and thinking are the first wave had successfully sunk the the battleship and i realized my bomb was essentially wasted ammunition. i saw a large object from 2500 meters is l.a. attack day. since there were no carriers, who were re-attacking the battleships of the first wave that already had.
>> host: eri hotta, you're nodding your head, listening to him. was interpreted quickly? >> guest: i couldn't hear the 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. >> host: craig nelson, was there about a vengeance and later battles in this war?
>> guest: you take this incredible moment that happened in the navy just responded with fury. the first in baghdad was the unexamined here is the pearl harbor, which was to salvage crews. they were able to resuscitate the 96 ships in the harbor. they brought back all three of them. in fact, the cover of my book has the horizontal bombers that is striking and is penetrating to its ammunition. so it is turning the ship is golf into a bomb hit the ship is back in business and taking part in the pacific campaign a year later. it's extraordinary to me they were able to do that. he had this outpouring so that they play four of the six japanese aircraft and the other two were essentially hunted down. it was used as a nuclear test
target. you should call your book american rage. >> host: let's go now to our collars made by the way, we've got our phone lines set up by the social media. you can tweet us at nine booktv. join the conversation and of course e-mail book firstname.lastname@example.org. larry, thanks for holding. you are on with our three authors. >> caller: yes, i'm greatly enjoying this. i'm 80 years old, but we were very well aware of what was going on having the blackout at night and the pulldown curtains. ..
>> caller: and the medical experimentation on people with they termed as logs, so they dehumanize them, and no one was prosecuted after the war with for war crimes on that. and i just wondered who makes those decisions not to prosecute. in fact, you hardly each hear it mentioned -- even hear it mentioned anymore. on the history books, china doesn't even list tiananmen square, students that were killed there. they're not mentioned in their history books at all. >> host: all right.
that's larry who was 5 years old when pearl harbor happened. any response for him, mr. twomey? >> guest: i would only say this, there's a terrific book -- and it's not mine finish. [laughter] called "war without mercy" about how savage the war in the pacific was on both sides. there were, certainly, racial beliefs on both sides that contributed to just enormous atrocities, far more than in europe, i think. and it's a fascinating book. i'm blanking on the name of the author, i think it's john dower -- [laughter] who just got a good plug. but i highly recommend that book to you for further discussion of just how awful that war was. >> host: albert is on the line, a veteran of world war ii from houston, texas. hi, albert. please go ahead.
>> caller: hi. there was always this talk that roosevelt said it was a day of infamy and so on and so forth, but i could never understand why we were having blackouts on the island of oahu about six or eight months before, before the attack actually came. >> host: now, albert, where were you stationed during world war ii? >> guest: hickum until '41. >> host: how old are you, sir, may i ask? >> caller: i'm 96, i'll be 97 in january. >> guest: bless you. >> host: thank you so much for call anything and contributing. what about the blackouts. anybody? >> guest: they were routinely practicing prior to december 7th exactly that. hawaii had gone through preparations in terms of
possible invasion for months. one of thes aspects of this -- the aspects of this that i think is most interesting to people is how militarized hawaii was prior to the attack. people were used to constant training by army and navy planes. you could hear the fleet practicing its gunnery over the horizon. military convoys clogged the roads all the time. honolulu was a booming city 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. the local magazine, monthly magazine called "pair a rah dice of the pacific" -- paradise of the pacific, was constantly talking about what's just beyond the horizon.
so air raid practice was a given. >> host: i think in one of your books you talk about the fact that husband kimmel, when he came on as chief, really boosted training very, very stringently. >> guest: that must have been you. [laughter] >> guest: he did. 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 the fleet in the ten months that he had been in charge. and and training was his thing. this was a task master, a drill sergeant for the entire fleet. nothing escaped his attention. no detail was too small for him to pay attention to, and people would point out to him that he probably shouldn't be paying that much attention. he couldn't help himself. but he practiced, he insisted on practicing maneuvers that everyone needed to be at their
position, everyone knew, needed to know their job. and by the late fall, people were saying to him and in subsequent testimony they had never seen the fleet in better condition than it was at that moment. and so what happened after december 7th, he wasn't there to see it. but the performance of the navy was due to him. >> host: what's on the cover of your book? >> guest: it's a, an image of someone looking through the, through binoculars for an enemy. i think it's more representational than a depiction of someone on that day. >> host: eri hotta, how militarized was japanese society by the time of pearl harbor? >> guest: i think it was militarized by default because so many people had to be sent off to battle fronts in china, and the home front had to show
their support. otherwise you'll be called unpatriotic. so, for instance, a neighborhood was organized into small block of four or five households, and they would cooperate with each other. in other words, they would sort of -- [inaudible] on each other that they were performing patriotic duties and attending drills against possible fire or air raids actually already. also they had the job of distributing food, rationed food amongst themselves equitably. and that was also a source of resentment for many, many families, because people felt cheated. the it's just a system of mutual distrust. so, but then every sort of neighborhood association had an incomer for the military -- informer for the military police. it's speculated. there's nothing to prove, but i
think it was based on fear of being singled out. so people really kept really low profile. jazz music was banned, and dance halls were closed, shut down. so there was no sort of overtly western entertainment, something that went unchecked because people were still holding american football matches in 1941, but i think you didn't want to be singled out for all the wrong reasons. >> host: 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 two bottles of beer? >> guest: unimaginable. [laughter] not a society for alcohol. [laughter] >> host: john is in new york city, another world war ii veteran. john, please go ahead. >> caller: yeah.
my story is i was in japan. i was sent by the army to japan 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 and another school. and anyway, i was wondering about the japanese, how they got into this. my experience is the man in the street really didn't seem to understand what they were doing, what had happened. [laughter] >> host: john, how were you treated in japan when you were there? >> caller: well, 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, and i talked to the japanese a lot, and i speak japanese. >> host: now, do you remember feeling angry after pearl harbor? >> caller: no. i was, i was younger then and, no. well, we were all kind of crazy about the war. [laughter] but when i was sent to japan, i wasn't angry at the japanese at all. in fact, i was curious. and what i discovered is the man in the street really didn't have any feelings about the war at all. >> host: and before we, before we have our panel answer that question, just one final
question to you. do you think it's fair to compare 9/11 to pearl harbor? >> caller: no. >> host: why? >> caller: i, well, because i think the japanese, there was two groups of people there in japanese. there were common citizens who really were not told very much, and then there was the military class. and i made kind of 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 to the locals, any convention or any kiwanis club or anybody who invited me
to speak. and my message was always purchase the man -- pretty much the man in the street didn't know what was going on. >> host: thank you, sir. eri hotta. >> guest: it's true that japan is not an open democracy for many reasons that we discussed already. but to say that military was responsible be oversimplifying the picture a bit, in my mind, because military was not a monolithic organ. and it was divided into different cliques, different sort of interests and, of course, navy and army never got along. [laughter] so i think it was far more complicated structure of bargaining and deal-making. plus, civilians were involved in the decision making as well. and the emperor in some indirect, very, very strange but very powerful way in the end were very much the glue holding
together those different fragments of interests. so i think it's okay to say that, of course, commoners, regular people in the street didn't really know why that happened, but that's different from not asking why it happened. so i think they should, they shouldn't be automatically excused or should be disengaged from the whole why did this happen picture, myself included as the inher to have of that sort of -- inheritor of that sort of collected guilt. i have the responsibility. and writing this book was one way of sort of dealing with that issue myself. but people have different ways of dealing with it. but to say that people didn't know what was going on, people in the government didn't know what was going on. so let's try to figure out. >> host: did your family have a connection to world war ii? >> guest: i have a -- well, both my grandparents, grandfathers
didn't go to war for health reasons or the age, but i have great uncle who died in iwo jima, another one who was an english literature student at tokyo university, was considered quite dispensable because he was not an engineering student. so at the end of the war, he gets called on to become a kamikaze pilot. he actually doesn't go. i mean, he, the war ends right before his mission. so i didn't know him, sadly, enough. he died in his 60s, and i was quite ignorant about these things and not really conscious about these problems. i think he lived with survivor's guilt all along. i think he ran a pilot flight school somewhere in the west coast of america. so he sort of half immigrated to
america in a strange sort of twist of fate. but i think, i don't think he quite knew why he was left to live. >> host: craig nelson, this is an e-mail from robert hyde in syracuse, new york. why did the japanese not invade and occupy the hawaiian islands as part of the pearl harbor attack? >> guest: well, they were so busy invading and occupying all of southeast asia from the northeast boundaries to the southwest boundaries of india that they really didn't have enough left over to take on the 43,000 servicemen that were in hawaii. so i really think that as mr. twomey had said, hawaii was very much a sideline item towards this great big operation to turn, to expand their chinese territory into all of southeast asia territory. but i do want to explain one thing about the attack we haven't discussed yet, and
that's how really nutty this idea was. it's something that mystifies me about yam ma moto, that he spent so much time in america and thought, well, if we kill 2,403 americans on hawaii, the american citizenry is going to go, oh, we certainly can't fight them. we've just got to turn asia over to the japanese. i just don't understand why he got that idea and why he was so keen on that. it's just so nutty. and you take that as sort of a foundation of why pearl harbor was attacked, and it makes no sense. >> host: how long did the japanese occupy that great expanse of sea in asia? >> guest: well, it took them six months to get it, so by the middle of '42, they have the great empire of japan. and they hold onto it until, you know, '44. so for two and a half -- two years about. >> host: when was the next major battle or when was the first battle after pearl harbor? >> guest: well, the great story is about midway which is another three-hour conversation because
it's such ab amazing story. -- an amazing story. three months after pearl harbor, so that is the only time for, twice in their entire life the navy and the army have cooperated, we're talking about japanese. in america the navy and the army have cooperated twice, and this was one of them. that's april. and then six months after pearl harbor comes midway which completely turns the pacific war, and nimitz called it the greatest squeaker of all time. that's a story for another three-hour panel. >> host: next question is bo in georgia. please go ahead with you are your question or comment for the authors. >> caller: thank you for letting me join your conversation this afternoon. i've got two quick things. i live down the street from a pearl harbor survivor, and his name will probably bring a bell, william -- [inaudible]
that spotted the japanese midget submarine. they could not confirm they sunk it because of the way it went down, but i think they found in 2002. and ironically, it was like four years later, december 7, 1944, that same ship that sunk that japanese midget submarine was destroyed in a kamikaze attack near the philippine islands. the admiral told me a couple of things, and when i knew him, he had retired from the military as a rear military, and he's buried in tipton not too far from another famous person that was a veteran in world war for, henry meyers, i think he flew the plane for roosevelt. anyhow, the guy was a walking history book, and i want to ask ms. hotta one other thing, and i'll let you go. i knew a japanese naval officer from the self-defense academy i met in the 1980s, and he told me they called it the great pacific war, and that's how they viewed history, what he was taught. and he also mentioned there's an
article in the japanese constitution that prohibits them from having any kind of military operations overseas. i'd like y'all to comment on those two points. thank you, and i'll hang up. >> host: one of you write about then-captain outerbridge, was it? tell the story. >> guest: well, his story's pretty well known in its broad outlines. i don't think people really understand or know what an extraordinary set of circumstances led to william outerbridge being in the position he was in. he had been the captain of, the executive officer of another destroyer and truly hated his captain. just couldn't stand the man. and had been seeking to get a transfer off his destroyer in any way he could. and he was hoping for a land assignment so he could be reunited with his family. in late november he was relieved and given command of his own
ship, the u is, s ward -- uss ward. he took command of it on friday, december 5th. he had never commanded a ship until friday, december 5th. the morning of december 6th he and the ward went out of the harbor on his first patrol ever, and they were tasked with patrolling back and forth in front of the harbor channel, and it was the next morning when he's asleep that he is awakened with a call to come to the bridge. and they spot an object in the water, and here's a man who's in his first job on his first day, and he didn't hesitate. he ordered his ship to hunt it down and open fire, and they did open fire. and they knew they hit it too. it wouldn't be confirmed until the submarine was found, as the gentleman referred to, decades later. but they warned, they sent a message saying they had attacked
this submarine, that's the object. i think i should have said that. he didn't know it, 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 alerting his commanders to what was happening kind of wound with its way slowly up through peacetime, and the vice grip of peace was still in people's mentality, and they didn't react swiftly enough to what he had just told them. and he sent a letter to his wife a few days later saying took command on friday, went to see see -- went to sea on saturday, started the war on sunday. [laughter] >> host: eri hotta, what about that gentleman's call? >> guest: the terminology, there's a lot in a maim and how one choose to -- a name is and how one choose to call a certain war, i think, reveals a lot
about your political affiliation. pacific war or asia-pacific war is generally used in japan by both right and left. i think it's a value-neutral, very sort of uncontestable term because, of course, war happened in that theater. i think extreme righters still prefer to call it greater east asian war because they claim that japan liberated all the colonial parts of southeast asia and china as well. i don't know how they extend the argument that way. [laughter] nor why. leftists, on the extreme left i think some people prefer to call it 15 years' war because they see the beginning of the war as 1931 when japan, japanese field army invaded parts of northeast asia. northeast china, excuse me. so i think there's a lot in the name, but i think many more just prefer to call it the value-free, neutral way of
asia-pacific war. the second question, i think, had to do with article ix of the constitution which the president abe administration is trying to revise or do away altogether because he, as a sort of hawk, thinks that it's a humiliation that japan didn't have the right to write its own constitution at the end of world war ii. i think the truth is slightly more nuanced because the suggestion of including this clause that renounces war as a sovereign right of japan came about because of japanese suggestion. i think there are some evidence to that, and there's been some research done on that. so to say that it was an american imposition to disarm japan and completely emasculate japan is wrong. but then that's how he views it,
and he's been trying to correct that post-war 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, and he did so successfully in the past year. but that actually put his administration in a very sensitive position. americans might welcome that japan is finally sort of taking more charge in the military matters in the east asian security in terms of actual military capabilities. but that also means that japan has to balance power in asia itself not by solely relying on the united states' help. so that might mean that -- it depends on how the cold war in
east asia ends. it might also depend on how japan faces up to its past and how other concerned governments of east asia deal with that and also all parties stop politicizing all memory to their advantage. so -- >> host: you look like you wanted to add finish. finish -- >> guest: no, i didn't. >> host: okay. craig nelson, in your week you cite some surveys of japanese citizens, american citizens, how they feel about pearl harbor, hiroshima and nagasaki. what did you find? >> guest: a wonderful man went through all the visitor comment cards at the arizona memorial of japanese descent, and he pulled them all out, and he found out that the number one thing japanese people wanted was for the american movie about pearl harbor to mention hiroshima and nagasaki. and you would think that's fair
except when you go to the hiroshima memorial, there's no mention of pearl harbor there either. [laughter] so there's still this tug-of-war going on between, well, if we apologize for hiroshima, they'll apologize for pearl harbor, and i can't believe this is still going on 75 years later. >> guest: and i think no japanese prime minister has visited -- >> host: well, president obama was the first to -- >> guest: to visit hiroshima. prime minister's wife advertised on her facebook page i went there and prayed for the future peace. it doesn't really mention how the war started or how he -- well, her husband's government is dealing with the war memories. i thought that was really strange. >> guest: i do want to point out something. i think one of the great moments in this story happens when you see that, you know, macarthur starts off as something of a stinker, and then in korea -- which is another three-hour panel -- he's something of a stinker. but when he goes to japan as supreme allied commander, he
does an amazing thing. he gives a speech at the surrender that will make you bust into tears -- burst into tears,s it is so heartfelt. he then really begins the process whereby america supports the japanese. he -- and this is like two weeks after the surrenderer. japanese citizens are going through the american army garbage looking for food, and macarthur gets in touch with the congress of the united states and says you've got to send me some money. these people are starving. and they go, what are you talking about? we just defeated those monsters, we're not sending them money. he says, well, give me butter or give me guns. and he begins the support for a prior enemy which lasts over into the marshall plan when marshall is secretary of state under truman. and so america, after winning world war ii, does these reverse reparations where we rebuild japan and germany. and i think it's an incredible pearl harbor legacy -- >> host: maybe on "in depth"
we'll do a douglas macarthur panel. george, thanks for holding, you're on booktv on c-span2. >> caller: yes, thank you for taking my call. i have a couple of comments, and i'll hang up and listen to the answers. this is directed to the three authors. have any of them ever read the, excuse me, the road to rainbow by henry cole or john to to lin's rising -- tolin's rising sun, and if they have, has it helped with their research in their current or future books? and my final comment, hopefully they can answer this question. i remember a few years ago reading about the japanese imperial staff and their long-range war plans making the comment that their war was not to start until 1947, and then it would be against russia. have any of them run up against that comment?
i'll hang up now, thank you. >> host: and who's that -- george, who was that first author, road to rainbow? what was his name? oh, john is gone. john tolin and rising sun and road to rainbow? anybody? [inaudible] >> guest: i've realize john tolis tolin's book on pearl harbor which i think has some problems. he buys into the notion of prior warning to a degree, and i think the primary source he had in there was subsequently debunked. >> guest: yeah. >> guest: but i don't know the other gentleman. >> host: is this a conspiracy theory, in a sense, about prior warning? >> guest: oh, yeah. >> host: we've gotten several facebook comments here. stanley says, i was there as a navy kid. my dad sat up in bed and said, quote, the japs are bombing pearl harbor, no surprise. it was neighborhood gossip for weeks ahead of time.
it was bait set in place by roosevelt to save england, france and hold land. >> guest: well, the very first guy to start this idea was one of the founders of the america first committee, a big anti-roosevelt graduate school group. you'll remember that was the group that charles lindbergh got in trouble with anti-semitic comments, and that was that group. and then it was expanded on by husband kimmel's lawyer during one of the congressional investigations. it was then followed up by a guy who wanted to take all the blame away from the navy and pin it on the civilian government. ..
so i think from a logistical point of view. >> i would offer two very practical reasons why i think that on the 75th anniversary, this is a very weird finally out to bury forever. the first practical piece of evidence as we already knew the japanese fermented essential military forces towards the southwest pacific including one of our possession, the philippines. all roosevelt had to do was sit back and wait and he would know whether japan is going to attack the philippines at which point we probably would have declared war. we didn't need to sacrifice the pacific fleet. the second reason i would offer is no independent means of intelligence. they had the chain of command to ease dropper is listening to messages and decoding them, up
the chain of command. hundreds of people would've had to know in order for franklin roosevelt to know and it simply defies belief that all of those people would then go to their graves with their lips sealed with the greatest act of treason in american has really. >> when i did a book about a third of what i was researching and i talked to somebody under the age of 40, you're going to show -- >> some people are reminded -- >> host: on page 49 of "countdown to pearl harbor," you write that war was coming to the pacific and they all know it and they all knew no one to that more seriously. the keywords in there, war was come into the pacific. was that general knowledge? >> guest: yes come as there is
money by the first week of december it was so well known. >> host: what about earlier? s. go all through 1941 were negotiating with japan the idea that the chap named were an arm was quite calm that they were engaged in similar activities in which hamilton commanded the fleet on february 1st, 1941, he noted that they would be working hard in light of what we all know. i believe that was his quote. he was referring to what was late late in the pacific. war was not the surprise in 1941. it was the target of where it began. i think that's really important for people to understand. i will share one small story about how likely it was or how common it was.
it won them by the of helen.travel by ship from san francisco to honolulu with her two kids around november 1st. she got there. she wrote a letter home saying she was thrilled to be alive because she had assumed a passenger liner would be some japanese. that is how prevalent the idea that war was just around the corner was. now she may have had an additional belief because her uncle was campbell, but she said that she fully expect that they would die and was relieved they did not. >> guest: in the second week of november come the general arthur held a press conference at the leading journalist to get them ready that war was coming and told them to danger. it's the first week of december. but after that, we won't have many problems because we will have b-17 taking off in the philippines, bombing japan and coming back.
someone pointed out according to your specs, the b-17 can't go from the philippines to japan and come back here "the new york times" published there off the record this is aware we could lose. >> host: george marshall, secretary of the army at the point. pam, agoura hills, california. please go ahead. >> guest: >> caller: i want to say how much i enjoy both tv and i have all of your books, all of the others. my grandfather was commanding a task coming in the morning of don and because he had submarine watch on, that's how they spotted the submarine. when it was spotted it was 1500 years to the starboard. my grandfather james to it is out this week of pearls are the remember in on wednesday. i spoke to a lot of radio guys before they passed away.
i'm just curious going back about the significance of the submarine's oddness. it is an naval doctrine of the time and very well known if he spotted one japanese submarine come again and to ask back a secure your force not too far behind. i will verify admiral kimmel have been continually planning maneuvers. the squadron five was involved within that july in was if a submarine without diet pearl harbor. people were very conscious and had even given orders. this is also a cause to warning coming out november 26. the codebreakers in hawaii have noticed two thirds of the japanese submarine fleet that use returns the marshals and they knew very well what that meant. i went back to washington. it was ingersoll and in the
final world war in a november 27th. dr ordered everybody to make the first offensive move. kittles likely countermanded that menace of my grandfather used that morning. i spoke to enough eyewitnesses from that morning. )-right-paren father is an admiral quarters and they cited the submarine and why he had some are not shown us because they had been followed across the pacific a japanese fleet submarine. >> host: let's hear from our authors. craig nelson, do you want to start? >> guest: it's really amazing factors to pearl harbor mystery today that we found one in pearl harbor than 186 he is enfolded up and they had no signs of human life as all. the two officers aboard the submarine escaped into the wind japanese-american population.
one of the many things they have a different opinion, one of the things that upset me greatly is after he receives his warning that they are still sitting there but the youngest members aboard and only one boilerplate, which means most of them don't even have electricity to defend themselves. out of all the things mr. kimmel could have done, you could've done that. >> host: bodies in lincoln, nebraska. >> caller: high, and ms. hotta already answered my primary question by half an hour ago about the education system over what was being taught about the war. i will have to go to my backup question regarding the doolittle raid. after doolittle took off and quite frankly insignificant
damage, though outlays that political thinking after the doolittle raid and what was the repercussions of the chain of command as cyrus halladay that the bombers attacked tokyo? >> well, in america it was considered a great big three because we had not had a world war ii vet jury yet on our team, i'm pretty much any. we haven't had much happiness. it was taken very well. in japan it was taken very hard because they allowed the emperor emperor to be impaired and they immediately launched plans to take out the final defense forces. you can say in the scheme of things that led directly to midway and it also made americans suddenly change their opinion even though the damage
was minor. they thought, was g, sad little britain and soviet union couldn't possibly win a war against the great japanese than the great german and the great italian army and now they thought maybe we might win. that was a great moment in history. >> host: from your book, here is a couple of pictures. fdr on december 8 and a hand written speech. what to show our audience part of this speech. >> yesterday, december 7th, 1941, it did which will live in infamy. the united states of america was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval air forces of the empire of japan.
the united states will appease that that nation and that 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 base, with unbounded determination of our people, we won't gain the inevitable triumph so help us god. [applause] >> host: one draft with america. [laughter] he basically gave that dictation ended one reach out and that is one of the greatest speeches in
american history. >> host: did this speech get played in japan? >> guest: now, instead they did the declaration speech -- it really doesn't compare ascending than that keen on it now. he is now fortunate for them not enunciation and it does sound like a stage actor. he was then propaganda aspects of the not these. he really wanted to stylize his declaration speech in a very effect manner. i think it backfired. >> host: in your book, japan 1941, there seem to be a lot of german influence in tokyo. is that fair? >> guest: it's fair to the extent that americans have lots of influence. in 19th century, they were
both industrialized and great power or so i think there is marketed well on the senate buckled than europeans ironically. i think they have been fluid to the extent that so many people are influenced. also lots of bright students into germany in the 1920s and come to america with written because it was cheaper. the hyperinflation made it so easy for students of western sciences and philosophy to go there and enjoy themselves in his dispatch to germany for a time. so i think people were influenced by that kind of very organized germanic thinking.
it doesn't really translate immediately. not seeing some of the suspect ideology for many people because it looks down on colored people and second-class race in third class. many people who read translation in japanese was omitted from the text. the only people who could read german knew about this. so i think this fascination is more theatrical in nature as far as my understanding. >> host: was sparked you to write about pearl harbor in about this era? i'm just going to go around the table. >> guest: the most pedestrian of event they took a family vacation and my son and wife but not to the arizona memorial. i had been there before. the exhibit at the national monument are quite good.
but i got interest did oddly enough, perhaps you can tell this already in husband kimmel and no one had ever written his biography, which i thought was very strange. subsequently as i alluded to earlier i decided there was a reason. he was in a very introspective man. you were going to get great revelations from him. once you get into it, you kind of get hooked. i find a way to tell it was this way, starting with the departure of the japanese fleet. as we have now, the knowledge today but exactly how we got to that point is fairly in and i hope as i'm sure we'll did that people would come to understand the complex to be at moment and also the founding drama. it was sort of a nonfiction
thriller in those days. >> i actually wanted to do a pearl harbor book almost 10 years ago because i was living a mile away from ground zero and a friend called and said there's been an accident. he should go look at it from the roof. like the look look in the sky completely cloud free and i think how could this be an accident? that's when the second plane hit and they blacked out a couple of hours and it's been three years having this unbelievable phobia about planes. who put.-- just nutty stuff. trying to saw what was happening in this problem, i tracked down other people with fear of planes and there are thousands of them and their survivors of pearl harbor. i had this sort of feeling towards it. i did want to take it out because the dutch a titanic thing to do. when you go to legislative archives and look at the
fundamental document, they are 48 feet long. so there it is me. so it's like nightmarish. then i realized if you look at craig's definitive, it was research 50 years ago. civilians think of his greed is set in stone. historians know the history is like water and it comes and goes. 50 years later it's time to try a new one. >> guest: i do agree as to his task is to keep breathing and interpreting history. aside from things i said about the personal faith i felt that the topic, beyond not i really thought this is a kind of crime fiction. we know the outcome very well. but there are so many moments that it turned around.
i really was fascinated by the defense building. it almost shakespearean as well because it's human weakness and start a tragedy. it's farcical that people are discussing are not discussing at the highest levels in japan. i wanted to introduce back to as many audience members as possible. so writing in english made sense. >> host: creek mouth then you mentioned horton crane from back in laconia, new hampshire. i would like to cast to give their assessment that the historical research such as that done with flat and miracle of midway. >> guest: i think mr. craig with the greatest book about japanese military of world war ii and he was working with the card. he was part of his reception and
you're supposed to interview every single person i came across any date. his archives were fantastic for my own work. however in 50 years time we have on new information coming out from japan. we have inside on new information from the survivors because they couldn't talk about what happened to them. if you compare what were able to write about now versus what i wrote about in the attack at south, and you think it is sanitizing it or something that is worried about weaker sensibilities that he just didn't have the material. at one point they spoke with a million pages of documents. that is how much new stuff we actually found. >> host: might come in san diego, things are holding. you are on with their three authors. >> caller: thank you. i have a comment and a question.
the comment is there is a terrific value of reporting world war ii. one of the articles in their is by an american journalist in tokyo at the time of the attack and about how he got rudely hustled out of their than they get back to this days. if i'm not mistaken, the title of it was basis for keeps. the other you mention the colorful character and truman got the real blame for not being ready was with hoover because they were supposed to prevent espionage and of course hoover was so entrenched in secret the empowerment. i wonder what he thought about that. >> host: the fbi certainly less attuned to the japanese-american community there and had a tap on the phone on maquoketa consulate and
that's how they learned on december 3rd to consulate was starting to word his secret document. but the special agent in charge in honolulu never thought there was any evidence of sabotage by the local community. certainly nothing new about this guy who is operating fairly openly and freely, although they have lists of people they intended to round up as soon as war broke out, which they did. there is a less than at the list of suspect good folks in the japanese community. but i'm not quite sure i understood the caller's point. did the fbi now? i don't think the fbi had any knowledge that an attack was imminent. >> guest: they did have one report which happens in august 1941 minus one in the event pearl harbor's worries
that the man named dusan popoff who was a triple agent working simultaneously for the yugoslav comment reddish and intelligence agencies on the one of the models and he appears in august 1941 at the offices of jack or hoover in washington. if this had been sent here to assess american defense capabilities after three pages of questionnaire to fill out, a third of them was about pearl harbor and hoover refuses to take this seriously because he thinks he can't trust the agent and a mass popoff is having an affair with french movie star simone's amount and they are both married and you can trust him and having an affair with a married woman. one of the two serious warnings about pearl harbor. >> host: next of my kiowa, new jersey. go ahead. >> caller: yes come you're
talking about the midget subs, but had the japanese typos at the most advanced submarines. how come that wasn't used as a primary weapon to search down the american carriers? is there a second attack on pearl harbor by seaplanes? >> guest: i think we need to appreciate what a spectacularly daring raids this was on the part of japan. many people in his own navy did think this just militarily could be pulled off. the secrecy was a prime direct it, but it's also important to remember they had no way of knowing whether the fleet was going to be there and whether the carriers were going to be there when they laugh. so one of the questions they have to have on route with our
plan going to succeed because the enemy was indeed where we hoped they would be. they went hunting for the pacific fleet at sea with submarines. they were hunting for it in the harbor because that is when they were the most vulnerable, made the easiest target. it was only in the 24 hours prior to the attack but they realized that their wish, their hope was going to be fulfilled. the fleet was there except for the aircraft carriers. why weren't they using the submarines to hunt for the fleet? they had no knowledge of where the fleet is at any time. they were hoping it would be where in fact they founded. >> host: how do they keep a secret? >> guest: i think they really miss treating people at the top
level. if i may be allowed to talk about envoys here in washington the day, they really didn't know what was going on when they ran into the room. his hands started shaking reading japan's declared intent to and diplomacy. even then, it really didn't declare war on the united states, said the south that event was not included and naomi realized at the embassy was happening. ensure the pearl harbor success than they were given enough time to type up the ladders, so that by the started the state department. it's a chain of maltreatment of people within your camp. >> host: craig nelson, back to restart it. whether the japanese attacked pearl harbor? >> guest: they wanted to keep
us from interfering with a plan for operation number one. they wanted to strike out in a western power and western power and showed favor they are equal. they wanted to ensure a source of petroleum and be out reminder of the united states. and they thought into a mess that america would let them keep their colonies and would give up on trying to proceed in a war against them. >> host: steve twomey, was it successful? was it militarily successful? >> guest: short answer is no, i don't think it was. they certainly achieve surprise, the yamamoto miscalculated completely the response to the surprise. he thought this would weaken the row. it had exactly the reverse effect. militarily they achieved in a limited sense the goal of conflict deemed severe damage on the fleet. but as we've talked about, they missed the target they were
going to be the most important in the coming war. the battleship era although many people didn't thought was already peaking and perhaps had peaked. these are all old ships. there is oil. they couldn't keep up with aircraft carriers. those were the weapons of the future and this was the first war in which that became apparent. militarily by missing the aircraft carriers, they probably did not achieve their goal. .. >> the authors we have been talking to, eri hotta, her book
is "', 1941." steve tommy, countdown to pearl harbor, and craig nelson, pale hash lower is the name of the book, thank you for being on booktv. >> in 1979 c-span was created as a service by the nation's cable companies. >> okay. welcome to the hoover institution's washington, dc office. i'm make frank, the contributor here and it's my real today to be able to introduce our honored guest, heather hendershot is a professor at m.i.t., a professor of film and media there, has