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Old 26th Aug 2012, 20:12
  #7227 (permalink)  
Turbine D
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Middle America
Age: 80
Posts: 1,158
You must be kidding, the US was not all that powerful in 1941
Perhaps, in retrospect, you know that, but at the time the Japanese thought the opposite.
They attacked us because they feared that would become too strong and then interfere with their plans of conquest of the Pacific.
They attacked us because of limitations, oil & time (only a two year supply of oil in bunkers).
The Japanese had already invaded Manchuria and knew this continued drive was in trouble without oil that the US had embargoed. Yamamoto was made "General" of the Navy and decided that the US strategic positions in the Pacific as well as the dominant US Pacific Fleet needed to be dealt with and so he devised the pre-emptive strike plan on Pearl Harbor to destroy as much of the dominant Pacific Fleet as possible. He envisioned what was left would be lured to Japanese controlled waters for a decisive final sea battle in the northern Philippine Sea. The first part of the plan worked but the second part was changed. First, only because of the Pearl Harbor success, did the Japanese embarked on the conquest of the southeastern Pacific. However, Doolittle's raid on Tokyo caused so much concern, Yamamoto decided to attack Midway Island and invade it, ending a military split in Japan as to what to do next. What Yamamoto didn't know was that the US had broken the Japanese naval code and were waiting near Midway at the right place and time. The battle of Midway resulted in the destruction of 4 Japanese carriers and was the beginning of the end of Japanese naval prominence in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor.
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