Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. David Messenger

Description

Admiral Kimmel commanded the United States Naval forces at Pearl Harbor before and during the December 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese that subsequently started American involvement in World War Two. Someone had to be held responsible for the blunder and that responsibility fell on Admiral Kimmel’s shoulders. Though never formally charged with dereliction of duty, Admiral Kimmel was relieved of his position, demoted and forced to retire. The subsequent investigations into the attack on Pearl Harbor revealed conflicting conclusions about fault for the surprise. Using the Admiral Kimmel’s personal papers housed at the American Heritage Center, the purpose of the project is to compare and contrast the commissions and their subsequent reports in an attempt to understand how different opinions of the same event resulted from the many different investigations. Central to this is the release of secret intercepted Japanese messages and correspondence between Admiral Kimmel and President Roosevelt.

Comments

Oral Presentation, UW Honors Program

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A Defense of Admiral Kimmel

Admiral Kimmel commanded the United States Naval forces at Pearl Harbor before and during the December 7, 1941 attack by the Japanese that subsequently started American involvement in World War Two. Someone had to be held responsible for the blunder and that responsibility fell on Admiral Kimmel’s shoulders. Though never formally charged with dereliction of duty, Admiral Kimmel was relieved of his position, demoted and forced to retire. The subsequent investigations into the attack on Pearl Harbor revealed conflicting conclusions about fault for the surprise. Using the Admiral Kimmel’s personal papers housed at the American Heritage Center, the purpose of the project is to compare and contrast the commissions and their subsequent reports in an attempt to understand how different opinions of the same event resulted from the many different investigations. Central to this is the release of secret intercepted Japanese messages and correspondence between Admiral Kimmel and President Roosevelt.