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Essay - No Need For Surprises

Essay - No Need For Surprises - Christopher Carr PID...

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Christopher Carr PID: 714269447 HIST 213: Air Power 9/27/2010 No Need for Surprises Chris Carr Wars, battles, and attacks have been prevalent throughout history and ranging from territorial discrepancies between small African tribes to the War against Terrorism we are currently facing today. On numerous occasions, these wars and battles were sparked and stimulated through surprise attacks. This holds true for United States’ infamous loss to Imperial Japan at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 in which Japan intended to neutralize the naval power of the United States in the Pacific Ocean while simultaneously organizing a multi-country attack (Introduction to the Attack on Pearl Harbor). But without Japan’s beautifully orchestrated surprise tactics used against the United States in Hawaii, would the Japanese Empire’s naval aviation forces been capable of defeating the United States? Governmental support and funding of naval aviation forces, attitudes of high-ranking officials, the ability and means to adapt to various war-time conditions, flight experience, as well as the quality and quantity of naval aviation forces were all key determinants in the attack at Pearl Harbor. Imperial Japan’s unrivalled naval air forces gave Japan the theoretical advantages
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and capabilities necessary to defeat the United States at Pearl Harbor regardless of Japan’s surprise ambush. During the two decades leading up to the 1941 attack at Pearl Harbor, Imperial Japan and the United States’ forces took two very different paths. It was the roaring twenties in America, where its citizens indulged in its booming economy and prosperity and were surrounded by industrialization. Inadequate attention was given to the United States’ systems of defense, with funding being cut substantially and various potential threats simply swatted away like flies. Even exercises carried out by United States Fleets during the 1920s and 1930s providing evidence that America’s Pacific Fleet wasn’t equipped with enough naval and aviation manpower to defeat Imperial Japan’s ever-growing navy didn’t stimulate funding (Pacific War). Congress would not even support the base levels of naval shipbuilding determined and agreed upon by the naval limitation treaty. As a result, many naval shipyards ceased their operations (Pacific War). Once the Great Depression struck America at the end of the second decade, Congress continued to shy away from military funding but used this drastic economical crisis as an excuse. A period of isolationism and apathetic attitudes towards non-domestic issues only added to America’s lack of support and funding for defense (Pacific War). The ultimate decision to limit military funding and stymie the production of modern military capital between the two World Wars soon proved to be a grave mistake that would forever echo in American history.
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