Why Japan was able to attack the US in 1941
There many theories as to how it could have happened that Japan was able to fly all the way to Hawaii in 1941, and destroy our fleet in Pearl Harbor. And they indeed woke a sleeping giant. So to really understand it, you have to travel back in time.
Over seventy years later, we are so used to hearing that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, that we think it was always the mindset of the USA. It wasn't. When The Great War, that is, the War to Save Democracy (which we call World War I) ended, the United States considered the job done. After cleaning up the mess in Europe by showing our military might, we had every reason to go back to our isolationist ways, and turn our back on the world. Eternal vigilance was the last thing on our mind.
And to be fair to the Japanese, they weren't really interested in invading Iowa. Of course, they would have, if the war had gone their way, but mostly they were interested in controlling the Pacific. And Pearl Harbor was just a lonely outpost in the Pacific that most Americans had never even heard of. So, if you ever wondered, *what were they thinking?*, travel back in time and consider what they knew. To them, all that mattered was the American Pacific fleet. They figured that once they had destroyed that, we would be helpless. They had no idea what new technologies would be invented to help us fight back.
It's only in the history books that World War I and World War II are truly separate. It was really all one war, interrupted by a couple of decades. And when it ended, we learned to be vigilant.
The photo is of my father, Marine Private George H. Hall, who received the Purple Heart in June of 1945 for his service in Okinawa.
Posted by Brad Hall