Pearl Harbor - SUCCESS of the MISSION

SUCCESS of the MISSION (Illustration) American History Disasters Famous Historical Events Famous People Social Studies World History World War II

This official U.S. Navy photo depicts damage to Substation on 1010 ("Ten-Ten") Dock, at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. Naval History & Heritage Command tells us: “The original photograph was in Enclosure (B) to 14th Naval District report, serial 01451 of 24 December 1941.” Click on the image for a better view.



Devastating as it was, the Pearl Harbor attack was not a complete success for Japan.

Although Genda was enraged that a second attack was abandoned (because the first had produced such good results), the truth is Genda's main objective was never accomplished. The American aircraft carrier fleet remained undamaged and intact.

But there was more.

Genda had never considered wiping out America's fuel storage, power plant and Navy repair yard in the surprise attack. With those vitally important basics essentially unharmed, America repaired the damage and continued the fight.

Later, Genda told Prange he had other plans for those key supports and for Hawaii.  In Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History (at page 505), we learn about those plans:

If only they had listened to me, we would have invaded Hawaii. After the attack on Pearl Harbor and the other Oahu installations we could have taken Honolulu pretty easily.

Genda's strategy - in his opinion - would have caused Australia to fall under Japanese control.  In fact, ten weeks after Pearl Harbor, Japan attacked Australia for the first time - at Darwin - killing at least 234 people and wounding 300-400 more.

But Genda had more bombing plans. As he later stated:

I was also in favor of bombing the American aircraft factories and oil refineries on the California coast. In December 1941 we could have bombed San Diego, Long Beach, Portland and Seattle without much opposition. (Quoted by Prange, et al, in Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History, at page 451.)

In early 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. As a result, Americans of Japanese, German and Italian ancestry were rounded up and placed in internment camps.  The biggest fear, at the time, was a Japanese attack on America's west coast.
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jan 12, 2016

Media Credits

The Naval Historical Center describes the in-text illustration—created by Commander Griffith Bailey Coale, USNR, Official U.S. Navy Combat Artist, 1944 (quoting from the original Combat Art description)—as follows:


[The image] ... shows the destruction wrought on ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet attacked in their berths by scores of enemy torpedo planes, horizontal and dive bombers on December 7, 1941.

At the extreme left is the stern of the cruiser Helena, while the battleship Nevada steams past and three geysers, caused by near bomb misses, surround her. In the immediate foreground is the capsizing minelayer Oglala. The battleship to the rear of the Oglala is the California, which has already settled. At the right, the hull of the capsized Oklahoma can be seen in front of the Maryland; the West Virginia in front of the Tennessee; and the Arizona settling astern of the Vestal ..., seen at the extreme right.


The artist put this whole scene together for the first time in the early summer of 1944, from 1010 Dock, in Pearl Harbor, where he was ordered for this duty. Coale worked under the guidance of Admiral William R. Furlong, Commandant of the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, who stepped from his Flagship, the Oglala, as she capsized.

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"SUCCESS of the MISSION" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2001. May 31, 2020.
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