tv Japanese Surrender in 1945 CSPAN August 29, 2015 9:00am-10:01am EDT
jiminy. >> you are watching american history tv. 40 hours of programming on american history every week and on twitter for information on a schedule of upcoming programs, and to keep up with the latest history news. >> up next, norman friedman at thees how wargaming u.s. naval war college in theuted to success world war ii. friedman is a novelist.
the institute for the study of strategy and politics host this hour-long event. friedman, as i'm sure many know, is a prolific naval officer. he has done untold damage to my bank account. .e also has a monthly column today, he will talk about the process of wargaming between the two wars. mr. friedman: thank you very much. thank you for having me. thank you for coming. this will be a little different from the other discussions. it is about what happens before, a longtime before. newport interested in -- i have been interested in newport for many years, by doing work for the navy on wargaming. i don't think, without the interest, i would have gone through every game. i would not recommend that to
everyone who does not have a lot of time and a good stomach. you learn a lot. i don't think you members of the same things of you don't go through it, frankly. what you learn is newport is not what you thought it was. we are inclined to think of the big schools as a way of educating officers. newport, for most of the interwar period, function just as much as a layout for the navy . was an aspect of an officer seminar. you have high-ranking officers who went there. there is one case i have, i think there were several, in which there was an admiral, a guy from the fleet with a lot of experience with flea aircraft, came back, went to the war college, and went back is a very senior person. i don't think he was alone. gaming, fork at the
a significant part of that period, you are looking at what people thought the future might be like. that gets interesting. and the lives of the basis of american planning. it would be stupid for me to tell you that a war in the pacific would be a naval war only. it was always imagined as a joint war. however, the prerequisite for getting the army in was to get across the pacific. if you are in historian of the navy -- well, so much for that. let's try this. the real question is how they go from something that looks like that to something that looks like that in less than a decade. actually, i have been cheating bit happenss when we have the best naval in
the world, however it is not the dominant theme in the u.s. navy at the time. other question is, and it ends up with this. as you would imagine, we had the battleships in tokyo bay because the thing we really cared about, but was fragile, had to say outside where was safer. however, it's product is overhead. how you get a navy, which has a powerful, but limited, and arm to understand what it can do with that. that is not a trivial matter. the way you figure out what is special is you do comparative history. you may know that i have spent a lot of time the british files too. the royalate with -- navy is the closest to us, though there are distinctions. they did not get it. it is quite obviously didn't get it. , theyample, in april 1
were little aware that there was a financial issue that would be the controlling factor. they are feeling good about themselves, and the first line in the report is the battleship is the backbone of the fleet. 1944, you might not quite see it that way. [laughter] they have something to do with this. this essentially actually the 1950's, but it is a typical scene.ng my typical is if you look back, it had a lot to do with that. gaming was the only mechanism we had for exploring how a war would really work. you might think the fleet problems were good mechanism also, but a couple of things. first, it was not easy to set up
. you would hate to put on a fleet where one side to find other. this would be somewhat embarrassing. i'm not talking about cheating. i'm not talking about the games people play window and gets sunk. what i am saying is you explore a limited set of options, and with a full-scale problem, you are looking at what things look like full-size. these you don't simulate on paper. however, if you want to fight world war ii in 1932, you don't fight it in the western pacific. also, unfortunately, people talked about how these wargames were scripted. there was a good deal of publicity given to -- well, are you fighting the japanese and how would you do a jackal in fact, a very good cap to grow a book about more problems and wargames, in which he used the
wargames to illustrate what would happen in a real war. that is why people who run governments don't really like organs, they look a little too realistic. i'm the other hand, and here, the sense tohave shut up, you can do anything. if you look at the scenarios, they would do all sorts of things. the first thing is as a lan, it was more important than anything else. until 1934-1935. it was a way of simulating war. they did this in relation very seriously. they revised the rules of the game every year to make this in relation better. they use the full scale problems as a way of feeding back to see the similar to make sense. the second thing was you had daddy officers. willo you know what a war be like, especially because
the technology is not the same as the last time around. by the way, you have a baby that thinks it is hot stuff before 1917, and then when it is integrated with the british, it is, oh my gosh, this is not kansas anymore, we are toast. had he become a modern navy? an education issue. the war college had a twist to teach you to think through decisions in a formal way. that does not sound like a big deal. it is. part of the decision-making process as you had think through with other side would do. that sounds obvious, but i assure you, most people don't bother. if you read british records, you are shocked by how little they understood everybody else. aw ked is too gentle of word. if you see the predictions of what people do.
ouch. we try to be smarter than that. part of being smarter is to tell officers constantly that you are dealing with an enemy as smart as you are. you know all that stuff about the japanese and how they are inferior, and their kind of stupid, but crazy. no. you don't see that in these records. you see occasionally as they are brave. buses of going through what other side would do is listing strengths and weaknesses. comment often that it is two years into the war, the american public is getting sick of nothing happening, you are commander in the pacific, moving, or else -- move it, or else. that is the formal estimate of
the situation. later, you find a lot of younger officers, particularly in her, who have not been to newport, and regard that as a clunky way of thinking. same.l wargaming is the the royal navy did some gaming. it wasn't the same as ours. i don't think it to them a lot of good. i'm not just tell you it is a get in, i tell you there is a particular way. the idea was you can only learn by doing. if you look through the records, i would beg you that everybody else who doesn't looks through the lectures. there are a lot of lectures, they are exactly what you want. i copied a hell of a lot of them. that is probably not what people
learned. what they learned was what they got out of actually doing it. if you are trained in the sciences, for example, you will have the horrible experience of reading some text, you really think you know what you are reading, and then someone makes you do problems. ouch. that is a personal ouch. i was in the physics records. , what are you looking for nterwar?r -- i the single biggest change is airplanes. if you look back to world war i, you can see bits of everything else. , itus, and every other navy is what does it mean? the second thing for the u.s. navy is the pacific is a really
different ocean. you have seen the already. it is a lot bigger. that means that you can get lost in it. the more technical thing is people learned to fight and longer ranges, and there are questions as to the implications of what that might be, the very least of which is if you are going to fight at long range, you need to have at the very you have to manage them individual over battle. or, find some better way to do .t if you survive the underwater hay, you survive a when you are running. a -- useless lead not be ship.ll swiftly not be a
in this case, a strategic role outing.t reports, wesome thought about this quite a bit. there is the question of asw technology. late run it. certainly, you see a lot of submarines sunk in these games. there is obviously not a simple prediction. you don't want to beg your life that the game i played last week and newport will tell me exactly what will happen in five years in the western pacific. you have to be crazy. if you take a lot of these games together, most of the things you see in the pacific turned up.
for example, you often heard that the solomons were a very nasty surprise for us because we never thought about night operations or torpedoes, or just cruisers against cruisers. i can assure you that all three of those turn up a lot. the numbers turn up a lot. in a typical battle, a big one, .ou might see 500 torpedoes by the way, very few of them hit . the wastage of airplanes is unbelievable. typically, in a very short operation, you lose 60%-70% of airplanes you started with. that is a common thing. by the way, there is an enormous waste of ships. the only real surprise, and no one seems to realize this, the japanese did not do campaign gaming like we did.
they did not give the sense of wastage. if you're going to lose 60%-70% of your eyelids coming you have churns out that turn new pilots did you might not be able to replace the ships. one of the comments before the war was that you realize you cannot build ships fast enough, whatever you have is what you will finish with. we did not have any idea of how fast we could build stuff. we were very good. didn'tanese obviously realize that they would have to replace a lot of pilots. a thought that if you shot up lot of pilots, that would help you for little while, but they would get new ones.
everyone gets new pilots. pilots are water. they are low ranking officer, they get shot. [laughter] when we shut down the japanese naval arm in the philippine sea in june 1944, our pilots were quite disappointed. i thought they had done that much. they just shut down these planes, they defended their carriers, but they had not sunk in the japanese navy. when you read someone, who was not terribly insightful, but talking to people on the spot, you get the sense of disappointment. to me, that is the surprise. what's the japanese run out of good pilots, the comic ozzy our kamikazes areomic next. how is gaming done? as i told you, it was the of destruction.
at the start, i think it would be as many as 14 games in a year. normally, it would be about eight. tactical,uded strategic games. there was a big game every year in which both junior and senior classes participated that simulated a pacific war. one of the funnier things i saw at newport was a speech by the president of the war college where you just strained to the pacific -- change the pacific strategy, but the change was secret. he felt compelled to tell the class that this is not the real thing. yeah, it was the real strategy. this was the island by island style. the strategic and tactical gains were often related. they were used by decision-makers. there was a very very dynamic
president of the war college named harris lanning. in the early 1920's, he was a student. it occurred to him that lessons an amplifiedd be and kept as becker. the then president that set of the modern war college was impressed enough to make him head of tactics. you find lanning writing about each major game he sees in detail saying, this is a really .ood thing the things he notices and set in real life. is this find that you can defend your carrier if you have enough fighters. whoever's in charge of the american fighters makes a special effort to refuel them, but he cannot get the refueled
fast enough to move them on the carrier fast enough. a manficer, i think, was named reeves, and if not, reeves was certainly engaged, and he became head of tactics. that is how we learn to operate carriers at very high capacity. effortone would make the worth the price of admission. anyway, it 1930, he comes back as president. he's very impressed by the fact that people do find the games and lessons interesting. he decides to institutionalize it. he sets up a research office, by a captain, who had a mixed career, he had run a and was thrust, into the navy school system.
he is brought back. ,e is a very outspoken fellow and significant for us. he retires in 1936, and does not replace. rat936, no one gives a asut gaming, or possibly early as 1934. the war college moves, from where was, into part of the navy youol system, which tells if it is as good as the pg , big deal. it means it doesn't matter anymore to the decision-makers. to some extent, it continues to matter to the war planners division people. if you look at the war planners files, you will five a lot of war material. having gone through the college
was a prerequisite for signing war plans. as you read the scenarios, after south.936-1938, they go that means that developments after about 1934, 1936 no longer resonate through the system. that means, for example, you don't find a lot of discussion about what happens, can we help the chinese because they are not fighting of the time. realismt find a lot of about what is going to happen if the germans take over or the colonial powers in europe, will be japanese -- the japanese get did.y, as they after 1936, and probably earlier than that, you know longer see the same kind of affects. i really talking about an earlier way of thinking. i apologize for that.
it would be better if i was telling you that in 1945, looking back at the games played in june 1944, we knew x. we didn't. what did we know? this just says what the game rules are. the last one is interesting. this is an aside. you can get clever when you make up rules. the war college got terribly good at estimating ships' a right of the ability -- arrive ability. this happened mainly with gunnery. orcertain stages, you are are not portable. they would talk about how you would fight to stay in the right ranges. there was one hitch, and it was pointed out in 1937. if you don't happen to know about the other guys armor, he
don't happen to know about how his shells perform, mainly because you do not have really , you mightigence make the wrong guesses as to these numbers. this officer pointed out that the numbers were really delicately dependent on what you can do. also, they never allowed for lucky hits, but a lot of the more spectacular disasters in naval history are lucky hits. for example, it is evaluated very favorably. you do find one interesting case of vulnerability that has a notice consequences. we figure out that an aircraft carrier can be disabled if you put a bomb through the flight deck. if the carrier
flight deck is made out of steel, then it is disabled until you get home and gets fixed. for all practical purposes, for at least several weeks, it is out of business. you might try to operate on the other end of the flight deck, and we certainly try to, but that is one more bomb. that does not mean you think a carrier easily. i used to think that we thought we could. no, they assume, if it is properly handled, it will float, but you will be able to keep fighting. we learned that if the flight deck were a lot flimsier, you could fix it while you were in operation. there is a reason that are carriers stated in action when it mattered in the south pacific. that is the reason. i'm not sure that that was bought out because of this problem, but certainly the war college recognized that, and you
find in the rules. that is a big difference between us and others. what that means is we lose e lexington because of a gas explosion, that would not be predicted. we think of small one, and if you put and up on a small ship, good about. at midway, we put a limited number of weapons into japanese carriages. it was amazing that they think. if you want to believe that the japanese were not really good at what they did, that is some evidence. actually, rules -- this is about the shell fire, used to promote the war college -- am i doing badly? ok.
since tried to promote the war college -- sims tried to promote with the rules. what the officer pointed out much later is that if you apply a more realistic set of figures, the relationship reversed. presumably would not have appreciated that fact. not from a pr point of view. ?ow do you think about a war the first thing that happens, when you are gaming get, you start thinking about how it ends . you have to figure out how you you want to win, and to get to that point. that is not some impressive, but i can think of a number of recent examples in which, having thought about that would have been extremely helpful.
[laughter] they taught you that the endgame matters. by the way, if you were japanese, the thing that shouldn't deter you is how do you find a good endgame against us? what single thing can you do that suddenly makes us put our hands up? to japan, it was pretty obvious. their lives off foreign supplies offaterial -- they lived foreign supplies of material. the joint war planners pointed out that a japanese government might not be so rational when they found out that life was not that happy. i remember reading in 1929 version of war plan journal. they said, ", if they don't get the message, we will bring them down with bombing -- they said,
don't get theey message, we will bring them down with bombing. when we talk about what would japan, we assume they think like us. there is no real political content to talking about the adversaries. everyone is rational. real-life is not rational. the other thing is between the world wars, there is a very strong sense everywhere that nationalother policies, irritated b economic economics, and , thoseons with power things don't figure in these discussions. want, there is a cautionary story of how to think about international affairs. no one in the war college system
seems to have go, on that. on to that.caught ideological movements, they did not have much traction. the idea that they would go after the other colonial powers at the same time, you don't see much of it. the only things you see it is in the dutch east indies where the japanese put heat on them to get cheap oil. they make a secret agreement with us to get into the war, and we show up at the right time. much discussion about the british, except for one fascinating thing. and 1932, there is a big game in which the united states fights the british. it is a blue-red game and a
as far as china goes, it would be nice but you cannot possibly defend it, so do not bother. where that went, but i cannot mention it because it is to -- i can't not mention it because it is too interesting. there was always this stuff you never see any political or cultural components, never, ever, ever. they are very careful not to get smart about that. incidentally, also, if you want to see a contrast with the british, guess what? what's a war like? probably the japanese groep the philippines to start mainly
because the philippines -- they would thwart lines of munication. they would be stupid not to do it. there were a couple of wargames in which they failed to do it, because they were deeply engaged in china. there are those who said that is what we did. we expected to lose manila bay. eventually we expected to lose the philippines. when the warplane change from going straight to the philippines to step-by-step army officers of the war college that, you morons, we have always known we cannot hold the philippines. the thing that probably propelled us over the edge is a pair of war games. there is one in which the fleet is in the pacific and it has to keep going. the usual japanese strategy in these wargames is attrition. oh, by the way, most of what the japanese do during the war in the way of tactics shows up in this stuff. it isn't their weird cultural
proclivities. it is what you would do if you look at these things and a normal way. at any rate, there is a battle, and the japanese main fleet -- i do not. even think that's involved but torpedoes do a remarkably good job. at the end of the battle, we are nominally superior but a lot of our major warships have been torpedoed and are barely surviving. it's sort of obvious that even if they get to someplace in the philippines with our repair facilities, they are dead. so, the next year, to show that we can keep playing, we start the game again as. though they have all been repaired and it is a new game involving the fleet trying to protect its temporary base and also protect convoys coming in.
that one's disaster. we lose the base. one of the convoys survives, but so what? van orkin right after this one, look, it was a real stretch that anything got repaired before the next game. the last one was called as a typhoon came in. do you really think these damaged ships ra all goi -- are all going to survive? ha ha. you had better start thinking about other ways to play this war. now, this game is unusual because the president of the war college sent a copy to warplanes with his own letter saying "read this thing." so, for my money, that made him realize that perhaps going straight into the philippines was not a real hot idea. that is a major influence by a wargame. van orkin must've made himself thoroughly unpopular because he was privately willing to say what he meant.
and i can see that if he was no longer protected by the war college president, that those who have not appreciated reading these things would remember clearly. but i have no evidence of that. these are the things you see. there are no allies except for the dutch east indies. they are our friends. the australians will not attack us when we go past australia. scouting. there is a game in which one side fails to find the other. you can only have disasters like that in games if you do a lot of games. these were not scripted games. these were very good. loss of attrition. we figured out that is what the japanese would do to us. the waste -- i cannot tell you
how important that was. the flight deck is this mattered, and it was assumed that anybody with any sense would do what the japanese did which was a lot of night attacks and lots of torpedoes. we had no idea how good the torpedoes were. we had no idea how much they had learned about night operations. the one big failure i could think up as a way of learning's full scale is because we did not want to kill a lot of people, we did not simulate night operations. we did not realize how tricky they were. we acted like they were easy and you could do it in daytime. no, it is not. typical scenarios. the surprise attack was interesting. it is one that might resonate with you. we find out that their mobilizing, but they are not saying anything. we know what they want to do, but you cannot do anything
first. if you let them land in the philippines, they have already got a considerable leg up. so what you really want to do is force them some kind of overt act when they would not like to do it, which allows you then to go after whatever you can see and kill it. the question is, how do you define the overt act? how do you make it resonate with the public, because of the public does not believe it, why bother? you may know that in 1941, the asiatic fleet commissioned some small craft to cruise around the philippines. the hope being that they encounter a japanese invasion force before it showed up at manila. they realized that the overt act would be sinking one of them. now, whether that would have energized people, i don't know. similarly at pearl harbor, we
announce there was a defensive zone around the base. if you penetrate the defensive zone, it is an act of war. but when it -- what happened, we did not catch on. if you're dumb, you deserve what happens to you. strategic scouting was a big thing. i mentioned the through ticket to manila being killed. convoy action -- you see convoys mostly against surface attack, but convoy is taken seriously. there are a lot of convoy scenarios. early on, you have a scenario in which the japanese attack why at the start -- attack hawaii with their fleet. not a small thing. this is the very beginning of the war. the fortifications are not complete. later, they are complete, so it is not an easy thing to take over hawaii. there's also a suggestive one
where the japanese fleet is visiting south america, and we get the word that what they are really intending to do during their nice exercise is bomb the panama canal. and that's the only game that ends up as a fleet problem. after we decide that going straight to the philippines is probably not on, we switch to what is called a step-by-step across the pacific, which is the central pacific war. and every time you see a game, you see a separate, related game where this atolls are either seized or defended. and there is a separate cells, marines and army on both sides. that turns out to be more elaborate discussion in the game itself. and there are attacks on japanese trade as raids intended to divert their fleets while we do something nasty of our own. in those discussions, you get, or instances of unrestricted
submarine warfare. in one case, we try and trade attacks with summaries and the guy gets sunk. then someone else does it successfully, shoot on sight, unrestricted. he thinks the british tanker, and the british really go ballistic. then in another game, he does that and he gets his hand rapped. in the third game in that series, there were no submarines. it is obvious people are thinking about this. this is after the war college cease to have advisory war. why was it worth the trouble? first, before all the stuff, what you learn is how to fight a war with lots of airplanes. you do not think that is important? that is only did. that's why guys who were not
aviators understood what carriers were. how else would they learn? you might learn a little bit in a fleet problem, seeing a lot of planes overhead in hearing what they dead, but that would not really get to you. but -- what they did, but that would not really get to you. but if you happened to use the carrier and you found out the consequences, boy, you would learn a lot. you want something that justify the money spent at the war college? i just told you what it was. other things. well, we. change the strategy to one that works. if we tried the other way, once pearl harbor happen, we were not going to do it the other way, but we learned how to win the pacific war. that is kind of forced the trouble. we learned that you had to have a mobile repair facility. that sounds kind of unglamorous, but once you realize there is going to be a hell of a lot of underwater damage, and unless you can repaired in the forward error, -- we learned to do that.
if you look at it after world war ii, you look at that alphabet soup, a lot of those are repair ships. they did not even list the dry docks. you can see lots of photos of them in action. the rapid deck cycle, that is the thing i talked to about with how fast you can land the plane's back on. at midway when we have three carriers, we have about as many aircraft on board as the japanese have. by the way, they work better. the need to repair fast, that is a very big thing. and when people laugh about how we had these flimsy flight decks but the british had these armored flight decks, yeah, but if you destroyed one of those armored flight decks, it goes to a shipyard.
by 1941, 1942, you could destroy their armored flight deck, possibly because in part, their idea of the size of dive bombs is pathetic. the circular formations. you say, but that is obvious. well, if you look at the royal navy, it was not obvious to them. and as a result of not having circular formations, their carriers had to come out of formation to launch airplanes. guess what happens when you quit your formations of destroys protecting you from subs? [blows rasberry] that is hms eagle. hms glorious is sunk by german battle cruisers. we understood that carriers are fragile and valuable.
you have to cover them against surface attack. the downside of that is hallsey takes his battleships north when he goes after the japanese carriers. no one says it but it was obvious to him. you have carriers, they are valuable. do not risk them. you use them to blow things up, but you cover them with surface ships. i mean, things that can shoot back against japanese battleships. when you say it that way, halsey comes off a whole lot better. i did not think i would be saying that before. others? well, we eliminated the two peters on -- the torpedoes on our cruisers after the analyses, but after we went down the -- they went down the tubes, we brought them back. we figured out that we needed large cruisers. i know that cruisers do not sound like much in world war ii terms, but in the inter-war navy they are a big deal. by the way, the british did not get the same message, and
because they never asked what anyone else would think, they were really surprised when other countries did not do what they did. what a shock. what did you learn? all kinds of crazy ways to try to get more airplanes. but the one that you might notice is a hell of a lot of seaplanes, because they were the things that were not limited by. treaty from 1934, boy, do you see seaplanes in the u.s. navy. and you remember, these things were bombers. they were not just patrol planes. that is why it is a pby. it was a lousy bomber. the sense that you cannot build fast. so, what you going to do? and there is a lot of talk about that. this is just for the contrast. the royal navy did some gaming.
they had two naval colleges. one was -- newport. the other was a junior officers course. the tactical people that a lot of gaming, but the gaming meant that you played standard british tactics against an opposition, one of their cleverer lines was "the opponent can do what he wants because who knows what the jap will do?" they do not seem to have learned much. this centerpiece of the school was a demonstration of jutlands, and it was shown with modern technology. if you had a lot of airplanes at jutland, they would not look much like jutland. it would sort of look like a massacre. they did not do that. the main course had exactly one
game that was a one-week game in which they simulated the main war plan, which was the far east war plan. there is no way that if you fight one game year, you are going to get any kind of honest results. you have to do a lot of them. some of them are going to be really embarrassing. that's also an argument that it was really luck that newport was in the middle of nowhere, and it was not a lot of attention every day. you might think about that for now. this is nothing new. that's it. [laughter] this is not the same issues you have been looking at. i don't think they would ever have figured out the cultural differences that turned out to be rather important in the way the war ends. that's a serious problem with that kind of gaming.
on the other hand, it did us a lot of good. we really did rather well. and we did rather well because the people who did rather well generally had been through this particular mill. a very impressive story. now, when i started to work, i thought the war college was important almost up to the beginning of the war. i thought it lost a lot of its power because the fleet expanded rapidly in the 1930's and the best people went to the fleet. you do not have time to sit in newport for a year. but as i think more about the story of advice versus do we really care, i think they were shocked because someone did not like the advice at all. that often happens to advisors. i have been in the advice business forever.
i have not been shot at, but if i knew everybody's secret thoughts -- basically, if you understand too much the people do not like, they do not like it. i think, also, that you see a push away from naval air about the time the war college goes down. that's when you get the new battleships but you do not get many more carriers. there's a period when we would have been free to buy more carriers and we didn't. i have a suspicion that -- had some to do with that. i do not think i can prove it or anybody else can. i still think, even with that, we were damn good naval air in 1941. that is how we did well in world war ii. i do not think anybody else understood these issues. period. it would be -- and the point of this was, how would you think now? i think it is still relevant. thank you. [applause]
>> norman -- i spent two days a week. at the center for naval analysis looking at the current chinese maritime -- what they are doing. and i really wish that we could play a tape of this to the discussants there, because the residents -- resonance is simply incredible. how we are trying to think about the chinese and how they think about us. they seem to be making the same mistakes about us that the japanese did. history does not repeat but it sure as hell rhymes. norman: the problem is is that the style of decision-making a top did after -- adopted after world war ii is not the gaming style or decision-making. it is analytic. generally, it embodies a some just that turned out to be embarrassing later.
i don't know how to get out of that. >> there's one aspect -- a major inspect on the demise of the japanese merchant fleet, and that is the offensive mind warfare. to that come up in wargames? norman: not much. early on, they are very interested in using minds, drifting mines. that has been very popular in world war i. you don't see a lot of the because that goes with unrestricted warfare. once, once we change the rules in 1941, a lot of this stuff in detail just goes away. so, no, it does not, much. you mind their ports and stuff like that, but it is not that kind of war. the assault on the merchant fleet is supposed to come out of the blockade, not out of sink on sight.
and the question is can you get to the point at which you could inflict a blockade? that is the endgame we are interested in. i do not know whether the war planners went further than that, but the thought was once you could strangle them, do it however you want. yeah? >> we had some intercepts of japanese naval exercises. how were those fed back to the war college? norman: they weren't. i got the feeling that was considered so secret that you could not play it. i'm remembering something specific you found for me, which was this amazing comment in a history of pre-war, where we find out the japanese figured out exactly what our war plan is and they are going to kill us. and according to this opt 20g history, when they invade manchuria, hoover says, what do
we do? not a damn thing. we can't. i had thought that is why we changed the big war plan, but the dating is all wrong. that is what made me believe this was the 1933 thing. it is kind of incredible but i do not think the product was allowed to go any further. it was too scared. too sensitive. but yes, a very reasonable question, and the answer is -- uh-uh as far as i can tell. they do not seem to have had a real grasp of different tactics or operations in any other navy. they are always a mirror image like you would not believe. >> in terms of radical preparation, that is where the great fall down was? norman: what happens is in night operations, both the british and the japanese learned how to do it.
you do it by constructing a plot before you go into action. the plot allows you to guess where the other guy's stuff is. so, when you're in position, the lights go on. he's illuminated and you beat it. and part of the way you do it is since your plot is going to fall apart as soon as the other guy starts reacting, you have a few minutes to do your thing, and then you leave. the japanese did it that way. if you read morrison, he laughs at them for leaving. that is what you have got to do. we had no idea that was happening. i think we had a fantasy that early radar soft problem. when that was an expedition to guadalcanal, he looked at the tbs log from helena, which had the decent set. it was obvious what messed it up was that this information was being transmitted, and there was
a time lag. you cannot afford that, boy. later, when everybody gets his own decent radar, it's a different world. well, i can easily imagine that since there is almost no discussion of the way plotting actually works,. no one thought about it it was something everyone took for granted. one of the problems of doing this kind of history is there a stuff that everyone knows, so no one mentions it. who would be domino to waste his time writing about it? and that is as secret as the most ultrasecret stuff you can ever see. so part of your job as an historian is you have to guess what people all knew. well, how do you guess that? that is not easy. very often, reading novels is a better way of testing tha -- of guessing. sir?
>> army war college was conducted wargaming during the 1920's and 1930's -- such as the philippines. did the army and the navy schools interact with each other in any way, based upon your research? norman: yes, they did. there were joint games. early in the 1920's, there were expeditionary games which were joints, and they printed up by the army's press -- at leavenworth. >> it was. yeah, yeah. the 1926 game, those strategic games were written and printed up in leavenworth. and later on, hh -- was the guy the navy sent out. he died of meningitis in 1935. he was their guy on the spot. norman: if you want to know about amphibious ideas of that era, he's a terrific way to learn. sorry. >> dr. freidman.
james hornfisher in "neptune's inferno" talked about the exchange with an role -- when he trained at harvard. [indiscernible] were there any exchange programs where they came to the united states? norman: there was not an exchange program. it was naval attache. that is how we got to go around. yamamoto -- no, you do not -- want your students to watch you playing these kinds of games. it was not their business. >> because i was wondering, in "neptune's inferno," he talked about the japanese superiority in night fighting, like you were saying, but there were -- were there exchange programs or any other, what attaches studies any intelligence or anything?
norman: no. no one was ever allowed in. as far as going to japan went, their security was terrific. they were very good at making sure foreigners stayed out of business. if you think about russians -- and the russians worked really hard at it. you only see exchange programs later when the war college is no longer such a sensitive thing. look, if the war college is just a college and it's a nice way of getting acquainted with foreigners, you can let them in. if it is a way to learn how to fight the next war, do you think you will let anybody in? our guys got to visit the british tactical school. the first foreigner to be allowed in. they allowed one of our guys to visit their war college in 1930.
under very controlled circumstances. if you don't have a lot of friends and allies in the world, they do not get special deals. we did not have a lot of friends and allies. if we had, all of these games would have read differently. >> ok, i think on that note, we will have another coffee break. then reconvene at 2:45. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]