Accession Number : ADA293338

Title :   Japanese Strategy and Operational Art at Pearl Harbor.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : Killey, Douglas S.

PDF Url : ADA293338

Report Date : 16 JUN 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 24

Abstract : The 1941 Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor has been widely characterized as strategic foolishness, operationally questionable or as tactical brilliance. This paper analyzes pre-war Japanese strategy and the operational planning for the Pearl Harbor raid in order to definitively characterize Japanese military activity through 1941 from an operational perspective, in part by evaluating the historical and wartime context of their decision-making and planning. Such analysis reveals both the predictability and futility of initial World War 2 Japanese planning. The U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor represented a critical weakness, but not a critical vulnerability, i.e., it did not serve as an avenue for attack of the American Center of Gravity (the will to intervene in what Japan considered her regional affairs in the Pacific theater). Pearl Harbor should not have been targeted at the time and manner it was, and represented a failure of the Japanese operational art, stemming from inability of the Japanese NCA to formulate overarching national policies. The Pearl Harbor raid inadvertently caused widespread, unintended and detrimental consequences for Japan, and provides lessons learned for the modern military operational planner. (AN)

Descriptors :   *THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, *STRATEGIC ANALYSIS, *MILITARY PLANNING, MILITARY OPERATIONS, MILITARY HISTORY, MILITARY STRATEGY, NAVAL AVIATION, POLICIES, LESSONS LEARNED, DECISION MAKING, LEADERSHIP, MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN), VULNERABILITY, JAPAN, FLEETS(SHIPS), TACTICAL ANALYSIS, PACIFIC OCEAN, DECEPTION, PEARL HARBOR.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE