The second wave of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor included 78 D3A Val dive bombers assigned to attack the warships below. The Vals were to complete the incapacitation of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet begun so promisingly by the B5N Kate bombers of the first wave. Instead, the Vals’ attack can be considered at best a disappointment—more critically, an utter failure.
None of their assigned objectives was achieved. No strategically significant damage was inflicted. In short, the attack was a disorganized, chaotic mess.
What contributed to this chaos? Elements of the aviators’ training and equipment.
- T. A. Bisson, Japan’s War Economy (New York: Macmillan, 1945).
- David C. Evans and Mark R. Peattie, Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887–1941 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1997).
- Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon, eds., The Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans (Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 1993).
- John W. Lambert and Norman Polmar, Defenseless: Command Failure at Pearl Harbor (Beverly, MA: Motorbooks International, 2003).
- Daniel Madsen, Resurrection: Salvaging the Battle Fleet at Pearl Harbor (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003).
- Jonathan Parshall, “‘Reflecting on Fuchida,’ or, ‘A Tale of Three Whoppers,’” Naval War College Review 63, no. 2 (Spring 2010): 127–38.
- Mark R. Peattie, Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power, 1909–1941 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2001).
- Gordon Prange, At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor (New York: Penguin Books, 1981).
- Gordon Prange, Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986).
- Peter C. Smith, Fist from the Sky: Japan’s Dive-Bomber Ace of WWII (Mechanicsville, PA: Stackpole Books, 2005).
- Ron Werneth, Beyond Pearl Harbor: The Untold Stories of Japan’s Naval Airmen (Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2008).
- “US Naval Technical Mission to Japan,” Naval Radios and Electronics, March 1946.
- Alan D. Zimm, Attack on Pearl Harbor: Strategy, Combat, Myths, Deceptions (Philadelphia: Casemate, 2011).