Even a superficial study of the vast verbiage dealing with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor indicates that the far greater portion of its volume is devoted to a search for American sins of omission and consequent responsibility for the disaster. The errors of commission are obviously few and unimportant. There is a constant reiteration, principally by more or less tacit implication, that if certain steps had been taken, the defeat might have been greatly minimized or entirely averted. This paper proposes to discuss four of the most plausible “ifs,” with a view to expounding what could have been the results had these “might-have-beens” actually affected the Pearl Harbor campaign. It will attempt to do so while avoiding, as far as humanly possible, the initiation of any controversy. Space limitations, alone, will prevent any discussion of events on the high political level, and of diplomacy or grand strategy.
The "Ifs" of Pearl Harbor
By Rear Admiral Logan Ramsey, U. S. Navy (Retired)