Today marks the 76th anniversary of the devastating Pearl Harbor attack near Honolulu, HI. The surprise attack by Japanese forces began before 8am on a Sunday morning, and ended with the deaths of more than 2,400 American soldiers and civilians. The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the US Congress:
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan… No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.”
On December 8, 1941, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II.
Attack on Pearl Harbor by Alan D. Zimm presents a detailed evaluation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on the operational and tactical level. With most American historians concentrating on command errors and the story of participants’ experiences, the Japanese attack operation had never been subjected to a comprehensive critical analysis of the military side of the operation. Below, you’ll find an exclusive excerpt from the book – Chapter Three: Wargames.
“For seven decades, conventional wisdom has extolled the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as brilliant in its planning and execution… masterful analysis topples that pillar of Pacific War history… with its amazing depth of meticulous research and analysis, this forceful book is essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in Pearl Harbor.”
World War II Magazine
“Alan D. Zimm applies his considerable professional experience in operations research and combat simulations design to a novel assessment of the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. It is an ambitious undertaking to fins something new to say about one of the most analyzed military engagements in history, but Zimm has managed to do so…must reading for any serious student of the Pacific War.”
International Journal of Maritime History
“Readers will be left with a great deal to think about and consider new aspects of the attack that are illuminated in Zimm’s book. This excellent analysis is a definitive critique of the Japanese planning and execution of the attack. For any serious student of the Pacific War, the volume makes for fascinating, “must” reading and should be included among the very best books on the Pearl Harbor attack.”
Naval Historical Foundation
About the Book
The December 7th, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor has been portrayed by historians as a dazzling success, “brilliantly conceived and meticulously planned.” With most American historians concentrating on command errors and the story of participants’ experiences, the Japanese attack operation has never been subjected to a comprehensive critical analysis of the military side of the operation.
This book presents a detailed evaluation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on the operational and tactical level. It examines such questions as: Was the strategy underlying the attack sound? Were there flaws in planning or execution? How did Japanese military culture influence the planning? How risky was the attack? What did the Japanese expect to achieve, balanced against what they did achieve? Were there Japanese blunders? What were their consequences? What might have been the results if the attack had not benefited from the mistakes of the American commanders?
The book also addresses the body of folklore about the attack, supporting or challenging many contentious issues such as the skill level of the Japanese aircrew, whether midget submarines torpedoed Oklahoma and Arizona, as has been recently claimed, whether the Japanese ever really considered launching a third wave attack, and the consequences of a “3rd wave” attack against the Naval Shipyard and the fuel storage tanks if it had been executed.
In addition, the analysis has detected for the first time a body of deceptions that a prominent Japanese participant in the attack placed into the historical record, most likely to conceal his blunders and enhance his reputation.
The centerpiece of the book is an analysis using modern Operations Research methods and computer simulations, as well as combat models developed between 1922 and 1946 at the U.S. Naval War College. The analysis puts a new light on the strategy and tactics employed by Yamamoto to open the Pacific War, and a dramatically different appraisal of the effectiveness of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Dr. Alan D. Zimm is a member of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he heads a section in the Aviation Systems and Advanced Concepts Group. He is a former officer in the US Navy, completing his service as a Commander, and holds degrees in Physics, Operations Research, and Public Administration with a concentration on Policy Analysis and Strategic Planning.
Attack on Pearl Harbor is available in both print and eBook. Purchase your copy directly on our website, or from any bookseller.