December 7, 1941, a date that will live in infamy. Over the years, historians and common people alike have hotly debated the specifics and blame regarding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Where should the fault lie? Was it the fault of commanders at Pearl Harbor during the war? Or, does the culpability lie squarely with our own federal government? Sure, there have been compelling arguments to support both views, but the fact is, the people responsible for a lack of responsiveness are the commanding officers that were present in Pearl Harbor at the time. In the end, the lack of preparedness brought on by sub par leadership of the base in Pearl Harbor is to blame.
The fact is, multiple documents were sent out from Washington, DC to the U.S. military bases in the Pacific. Though Pearl Harbor was not always mentioned specifically in the government issued recommendations, those in command should have realized the danger of placing so many crucial marine craft, airplanes, and soldiers in one, relatively small area.
The officers there should have done more to ready their troops and equipment. They also should have taken a greater deal of precautionary measures in spreading out the ships and airplanes. Doing the former may not have kept us out of war, but it would have kept the casualty rate of both people and equipment at a level that our country could easily recover from.
The above points are evidenced and reinforced in multiple documents and records of the war period. In a document issued on November 27, 1941, only ten days before Japan's attack, the Navy Department issued a message to Admiral Kimmel (then Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet) telling him specifically "...an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days..." The message...