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HIST202 Military Misfortunes chap 3_ 2 of2

HIST202 Military Misfortunes chap 3_ 2 of2 - 52 Military...

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Unformatted text preview: 52 Military Nils-fortunes . LAYERED ANALYSIS Having identified the critical failures we can begin analyzing the' behavior ofdifferent layers of organization and Command. We look for the interac- tions between these organizations, as well as assess how well they per- formed their proper tasks and missions. By so doing we help avoid the pitfall of “horimntal history" and lay the groundwork for the concluding of our study. There is no formula for selecting the right levels to examine; that depends on the case at hand. Echelons of command or organization have varying importance depending on their military mission and chiefly on the nature of the war in question. A guerrilla cenflict, for example, may give no scope to the middle echelons (battalion or brigade): Instead, the actions of small-unit leaders and regional commanders may be” the most important. In more conventional forms of warfare, however, these middle echelons may prove the critical ones. In the case of Pearl Harbor four levels stand out, the first two of which can be subdivided in turn. The first of these is the high command in Washington, which can be broken down into the civilian echelon-(the president and the secretaries of navy and war) on the one hand and the military echelon (the chief of naval operations and the chief of staff of the army) on the other. The chief responsibilities of these echelons were to provide adequate resources to the Hawaiian commands, which they did. The chief question raised over their performance has to do with their effort to warn the local commanders of the impending Japanese attack. The question of warning at Pearl Harbor is an extremely tangled one, about which many books could be and have been written. The following points, however, are central. First, Washington had no timely and unam- biguous warning of a Japanese attack On Pearl Harbor, although, like some of the local commanders, it had worried about just such a surprise attack for over a year and had communicated those concerns to Kimmel and Short. Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, for example, had written the following to Short on the day the latter took over his command: My impression of the Hawaiian problem has been that if no serious harm is done us during the first six hours of- known hostilities, thereafter the existing defenses Would discourage an enemy against . the. hazard of an attack. The risk _.of sabotage and therisk involved in a surprise raid'by' Air and by submarine, constitute the real perils of the situation.” _ 0n the other hand, in the weeks before December 7 both Stark’s and Marshall‘s offices withheld, for a variety of reasons, certain important in- Analyzing Failu‘re“ 53 telligence items from Hawaii (most notably aJapanese-request to its local- agents for detailed descriptions of where American warships were moored in Pearl Harbor). However, on November 27 Kimmel was alerted with a warning that began, “this dispatch is to be considered a war warning," and Short received a similar message from General Marshall. In addition, both commanders were generally apprised of the collapse of negotiations with the Japanese and the official view that a major Japanese aggressive move was in the works. The evidence suggests that thereafter neither Marshall nor Stark monitored closely the defensive measures undertaken by local commanders. The second echelon is that of the major commands in Hawaii, which may again be. subdivided. in one category is the commander in chief, Pacific Fleet, who was also the commander in chief, U.S. Fleet, who had overall c0ntrol of navy forcesin the vicinity of Pearl Harbor. In the sec ond category was Rear Admiral Claude Q Bloch,'Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District (COM 14 in navy jargon), who had responsibil- ity for all shore installations in Hawaii, and the commanding general of the Hawaiian department, Lieutenant General Walter Short. This subdi- vision indicates already some of the problems under which American forces in Hawaii labored: although Short's nominal counterpart was Ad- miral Bloch, he worked more closely with Admiral Kimmel, who had the real authority over the deployment of naval forces. It .is at-this level that decisions were made concerning the nature of military alerts to be adapted in peacetime—both the structure of such alerts and their? actual implementation. The critical decision here was Short’s decision to order. a level one alert (against sabotage only) rather than a level two (all mea— sures in one, plus precautions against enemy air, surface, and submarine action) or three (ail-out attack). 'Kimm'el had placed- the navy on what was known as a “modified level 3 alert," which required partial manning of antiaircraft weapons and was the lowest of'the navy’s three alert lev— els.” It should be mood that not only did the navy and army have differ— ent alert procedures: Kirnmel did not even know that the army had more than one kind of alert. Below the level of the higher commanders in Hawaii were the compo— nent commands there, and in particular those of the Army: the Hawaiian army air force and the Hawaiian coast artillery, which controlled most of the fighter planes and antiaircraftartillery respectively devoted to the de- fense of the base. These comm-ands, which might have been expected to provide the bulk of the coordinated defense of the island—the vectoring in of fighters-to intercept the Japanese, the activation and supply of anti- aircraft batteries, and on the navy side, the sustained reconnaissance by 5 4 Military Misfortunes long-range patrol aircraft of the commander, Naval Base Defense Air Force—~.-exhibited the most spectacular failuresin the attack, as we have already discussed. - Fourth, and finally, we. have the units at the sharp end, the battleships and fighter squadrons, the antiaircraft batteries and support units that most keenly felt the effectsof the air raids. Here it should be noted that the critical failure was that of alertness. Within these units, particularly .on board Ship, the response-to the attack was remarkably fast and, within the limits of practicality, effettive. THE ANALYTICAL MATRIX Having described the critical failures, .and selected the chief layers of com- mand, we can now represent the problem graphically- as in Figure 3-1. PATHWAYS ”TO MISFORTUNE An exercise such as this, though it may oversimplify some of the relation- ships between failures, is a handy device for analyzing military misfor- tunes. If, after looking at the chart, we draw arrows indicating relation- ships between various failures, we can define pathways to misfortune. We notice several things about the resulting picture. First, the critical pathway to misfortune comes in the column headed. Coordination—it is through the failure of coordination at-levels three through live that American forces found themselves at such low levels of military alert. Then we note a secondary pathway from box 2.1 through box 3.1 to box 4.2—-the misleading nature of the warning sent out at a rather higher level, and its liability to misinterpretation by the rather literal-minded commanders on the scene. It- is in the first pathway—that stemming from failure of coordination, however—dint we mayfmd the most important explanation of the Pearl Harbor disaster. Reflected in that disaster is not simply the unprepared- ness .of a pacific people, or the narrowness of inflexible commanders, though both elements were present in some. degree. Far more serious and dangerous was the absence of a harmonious. garrison on the island of 0ahu,-.organized and directed by a single unifying scheme, under a single commander.=-Had all of the forces in Hawaii been under the vigorous Analyzing Failure 5' 5 Communication of Warning l. PresidenIISerflce 1.1 Informed subordin— 1.1 Not applicable 1.3 Not applicable secretaries ales of breakdown in negotiations 2. Service chiefs 2.1 Follies: “war 2.2 Not applicable 13 Failure: attempted to (Stark and Marshall) warning” confused Short improve local coordination by emphasizing sabotage; _ but did not force the issue some intelligence withheld . ' l - 3. Chi? Pacific Fleet 3.! Failure: did ' 32' Too tom-but 3.3 Modifiers: did " (Kimmel) _ _ not nominate ‘ only somewhat ' not mdarataad arrm.r Imders‘landing of . ' alert; did not work out danger to Short unified defense plan 4. COM l4 (Bloch) ' 4.1 Warning sent out 4.2 G‘iflmifdihre: 4.3 Oanfl'm-e: Commanding General to component units u... love! of alert much precautions overlooked Hawaiian Dept. (Short) too low (anny) (embarrass balloons); no adequate provision \- for cooperation of lower-level commands l 5. Component commands 5.1 No reconnaissance 5.2 Alertlevel 5.3 Wfiilure: no (ea, Hawaiian Air Force, per Kimmel‘s orders determined by integration for defense Commander Naval Base higher levels: of Hawaiian airspace Defense Air Force) _ some slashes: ' 6. Operating units 6.1 Not applicable 6.2 Failure: ranging 6.3 Not applicable (en, USS Okhhom) _ fiom virtually no ' alert to inadequate m indicate carnal links Solid lines indicate primary pathways; dashed lines, secondary pathways. FIGURE 3-1. Matrix of Failure operational control of a single commander—most likely the commander in chief, Pacific Fleet—it is unlikely (though not inconceivable) that multi— ple alert system would have existed side by side, that the air above the islands would not have had a single center controlling it, or that Oahu’s fighter defenses would have assumed thatjlong'iange- patrols would give them four hours’ warning of an=enemy.’s approach. In fact, within weeks of the debacle at Pearl Harbor the chief of stall” of therarmy and the chief of naval operations ordered the'es’tablishment of joint commands and joint operations centers in all areas where navy and army had to work side by side."6 56 Military Misfortunes Stark and Marshall had attempted to make such arrangements in the days before Pearl Harbor, but they met the resistance of those on the spot, not only there but in other commands as well. Rejecting (with Short‘s concurrence) the recommendations of both his superiors and a visiting Royal Navy captain (later Admiral); Louis Mountbatten, for the creation of a joint operations center, Kimmel wrote on November 3, 1941 that the army and navy had different tasks. “Strategic, rather than tactical cooperation, is indicated and therefore the necessity for rapid re- ceipt and exchange of information and arrival at quick decisions is of less importance?” let it be noted that army and navy relations on Hawaii were nothing if not cordial: .Kimrnel and Short, in particular, had friendly relations, playing golf together regularly and pledging themselves to a sys- tem of military coordination by mutual cooperation. But as the authors of the W on the Pearl Harbor Attack concluded, The evidence adduced in the course of the various Pearl Harbor- invesrigations reveals the complete inadequacy of command by mutual mopemm where decisive action is of the essence. Both the Army and N vy commanders in Hawaii failed to coordinate and integrate their combined facilities for defense in the crucial days between November 27 and December 7, 1941. While they had been able over a period of time to conceive admirable plans for, the defense of the Hawaiian Coastal Frontier consistent with the system of mutual cooperation when the time came for the implementation of these plans they remained hollow and empty contracts that were never executed. . . . The tendency to “let George do it," to assume the other fellow will take care of the situation is an inseparable part of command by mutual cooperation.” The result, the congressional committee found, was the conduct of op- erations in a “state of joint oblivion." THE MISSING DMENSION OF STRATEGY The congressional commit-tee: investigating. the Pearl Harbor disaster was, perhaps, closest to the mark of all the studies beforeor since in its focus on the-fragility—and in. some cases, the absence—of army/ navy commu- nication and cooperation on; Oahu in the months before the Japanese attack. By dissecting military misfortune in the way demonstrated in this chapter, we find our attention drawn repeatedly to what one might call Analyzing Failure 5 7 “the organizational dimension of Strategy.” Military organizations, and the States that develop them, periodically assess their own ability to handle military threats.” When they do so they tend to look at that which can be quantified: the number of troops, the quantities of ammunition, the readiness rates of key equipment, the amount of transport, and so on. Rarely, however, do they look at the adequacy of their organization as such, and particularly high level organization, to handle these challenges. Yet as Pearl Harbor and other cases suggest, it is in the deficiency of organizations that the embryo of misfortune develops. And it is to the varieties of organizational disfunction in war that we now turn. ' WWW hm .m - .M "'W hm mawm-ga at" find “'1'" mm. Man-111nm .Jmfli . "at hulk m‘flk‘k" an aid" M. n interim” w; 5a 08 will . N " .- ml? \fi: .i'imn 31h mmmlqm .u rim”! 15 ,war: 1': glimm- 2'1. 1. .164: Jump .u' J In «a 3m "' "11' hi W” Hui .mlhfiupv {U5 1 ":18"! uni! :11 H mm?“ in!" ’ n ugz'aupsin :0! I iod fun d! w—nm’ ..._'L' ufi WM?” gfiau-ai m .9!!in M- “in Mm; 1, Jul "Jun |'- (mu-1b; 1: Ii “5" n {W m; ufim b1]; '4th mm 11. In...‘ '4' .3 ii a' It" 1W» ”mm ! art-NM e 4- m1 mmmhrlm bu m .. .h nah a: «marsh!» In;- - MK-l'gzv 1e: mum. - xiii- I‘ ...
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