Talk:Attack on Pearl Harbor

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Former featured article Attack on Pearl Harbor is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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Semi-protected edit request on 7 September 2017[edit]

"official warning" should be "official notice" since a warning is not an absolute action but a cautionary action. You do not caution someone that you might declare war then bomb them and Japan declared war when they bombed. 2605:E000:9161:A500:3832:5234:5BA4:7DB6 (talk) 18:34, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Partly done: Edited for clarity to: "...first formally breaking diplomatic relations..." Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 19:37, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
I reverted, but then restored. The issue is two fold:
  • The Japanese did not break off diplomatic relations with the US; and
  • The Japanese did not declare war on the US before the attack on Pearl Harbor
One can do the first and not do the second. The first does not necessarily lead to the second (i.e. one can be left in a state of no diplomatic relations, but also no war). The second is almost always done simultaneously with the first, as part of the same declaration (i.e. "we find these actions so heinous that we are forced to break off relations and declare that a state of war exists"), but it's the actual failure to declare war before the attack which was the violation of international law, not the failure to break off relations.
My understanding is that even if the multi-part message from Tokyo to Washington had been decoded and presented on time, it did not declare a state of war, it merely broke off relations between the two countries, so that its timely delivery would not have been the declaration of war which was required by international law before the attack. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:34, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Actually, it's worse than that. Here's the language of the past two paragraphs of the 14-part message:

Thus the earnest hope of the Japanese Government to adjust Japanese-American relations and to preserve and promote the peace of the Pacific through cooperation with the American Government has finally been lost.

The Japanese Government regrets to have to notify hereby the American Government that in view of the attitude of the American Government it cannot but consider that it is impossible to reach an agreement through further negotiations.[1]
So this document not only did not declare war, it did not formally break off relations, and if it had been delivered on time, the Japanese would still have attacked Pearl Harbor without a declaration of war. Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:43, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Beyond My Ken's beaten me to it. It was neither "notice" nor "warning" of impending war. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 23:49, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Japan declared war on the United States on 7 December 1941: (RollingWhitmore (talk) 22:21, 17 September 2017 (UTC))

American casualties[edit]

The section 'American casualties and damage' states the U.S. suffered 3,478 military casualties (2,335 killed and 1,143 wounded) and 103 civilian casualties (68 killed and 35 wounded)—"2,008 sailors were killed and 710 others wounded; 218 soldiers and airmen ... were killed and 364 wounded; 109 marines were killed and 69 wounded; and 68 civilians were killed and 35 wounded"—for a total of 3,581 casualties (2,403 killed and 1,178 wounded). The infobox double-counts the civilian casualties by including them in the military section as part of the totals of 2,403 killed and 1,178 wounded. -- Black Falcon (talk) 04:16, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

Fixed in the absence of any comments/objections. -- Black Falcon (talk) 19:13, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

Footnote about time zones[edit]

@Beyond My Ken: In this edit, did you intend to remove the footnote from both locations, or just the one? If the latter, then why is it unnecessary in one location but necessary at the other? Thanks, -- Black Falcon (talk) 15:53, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

It may be that I was confused -- I'll take a look, thanks. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:55, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
I appreciate it. Cheers, -- Black Falcon (talk) 19:12, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
No problem. Beyond My Ken (talk) 19:15, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

Discussion about third wave[edit]

In the part about a potential 3rd wave (possible third wave), I find the comment:

"At a conference aboard Yamato the following morning, Yamamoto initially supported Nagumo."

This is supported by a reference to Gailey, Harry A. (1997), War in the Pacific: From Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay, P.97. But it doesn't add up to me; my understanding of the structure of the IJN at the time would not have included an after-action conference at that level the day after the attack. More, the Yamato wasn't Yamamoto's flagship until Feb. 1942. Can someone who has access to Gailey check this comment, please? Tarl N. (discuss) 02:52, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

So, are you saying that your understanding of the IJN is superior to the understanding of the IJN of the authors who are cited? Or are you doubting whether the sources cited support the statement made? Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:45, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm asking for someone with access to the source in question to verify that what the source says is properly reflected in this article. I suspect a misunderstanding, because the comment does not agree with documented history I can find elsewhere. What I can find elsewhere is that Yamamoto was aboard the Nagato in port at the time, not aboard the Yamato. So I suspect the timeline is incorrect in the wikipedia article. Tarl N. (discuss) 14:28, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
OK, thanks for clarifying. The book is on Google Books, but without page numbers, and with numerous excisions, so this particular passage doesn't seem to be there. Someone with access to the book will have to check. Beyond My Ken (talk) 18:41, 6 November 2017 (UTC)
I flagged the phrase describing the timing as dubious, pointing to this section for discussion. The Yamato wasn't even commissioned at that time. Tarl N. (discuss) 04:31, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

OK, the page numbers are different - probably because I have access to the 1995 edition of Gailey's book, not the 1997 edition which is cited, but this is what he writes:

Later [Nagumo] would rendezvous with Admiral Yamamoto near Midway Island. At a conference on board Yamamoto's flagship the morning following the attack, the Combined Fleet commander decided to support Nagumo's decision to withdraw. In retrospect, what Nagumo and Yamaoto did at this early date was to hasten the defeat of their nation. Had the United States lost its oil tank farms and maintenance facilities, serious operations in the Pacific would have been postponed for more than a year. Yamamoto later stated categorically that he had made a great mistake by not ordering a follow-up strike. {Gailey 1995, p.85)

So the only error in what's in the article I can see is the assumption that "Yamamoto's flagship" was referring to the Yamato. Otherwise, the information is accurate, according to the source cited. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:22, 14 November 2017 (UTC)