U.S.S. Oklahoma, 7 December 1941


Pearl Harbor

K - O

Kahn, David.

1. "The Intelligence Failure of Pearl Harbor." Foreign Affairs 70, no. 5 (Winter 1991-1992): 136-152.

Kahn suggests that dependence on Magic may have blinded U.S. officials to warnings contained in non-Sigint intelligence.

2. "A New Source for Historians: Yardley's Seized Manuscript." Cryptologia 15, no. 4 (Oct. 1991): 273-294.

Sexton calls this article an "excellent ... explanation of why American authorities failed to anticipate the Pearl Harbor attack."

3. "Why Weren't We Warned?" MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History 4 (Autumn 1991): 50-59.

Sexton says that "Kahn provides a balanced and well-reasoned answer to the question of why the U.S. was surprised at Pearl Harbor." Kahn suggests that dependence on Magic may have blinded U.S. officials to warnings contained in non-Sigint intelligence.

Kaiser, David. "Review Article: Conspiracy or Cock-up? Pearl Harbor Revisited." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 2 (Apr. 1994): 354-372.

Clausen and Lee's Pearl Harbor: Final Judgement is a "highly readable book." Much of what Clausen "uncovered late in the war ... has been ignored." Nevertheless, "[l]awyers ... acquire the habit of working to prove a particular point.... Readers must therefore approach his account with caution." Neither Rusbridger and Nave nor Layton "have been able to prove that anyone had real information warning of a Pearl Harbor attack.... [T]he behavior of the Washington authorities suggests that they believed that they had given field commanders enough warning of impending hostilities, and for the most part, the record backs them up.... Th[e] evidence ... suggests that General Short simply did not regard an attack upon Hawaii as a serious possibility.... To the unbiased, reflective historian, five decades after the event, the Pearl Harbor attack exemplifies the difficult of anticipating surprise, the mistakes which individuals inevitably make, the ease with which governments fail to make use of available information, and the relative unimportance, in the long run, of winning the opening battle of a war." (Italics in original)

Kimmel, Edward R. "Vendetta: The Department of Defense's Persecution of Pearl Harbor Commanders Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, USN, and Major General Walter C. Short, USA." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 27, no. 2 (Jun. 2011): 35-46.

The author is Admiral Kimmel's son. He states: "I am pressing for the nomination to their highest held World War II ranks simply because I want to expunge government records of the sole remaining scintilla of evidence that the government continues to regard Admiral Kimmel and Gneral Short as solely responsible for the Pearl Harbor disaster."

Kimmel, Husband Edward. Admiral Kimmel's Story. Chicago: Regnery, 1955.

According to Sexton, Kimmel "[c]harges that the White House deliberately withheld MAGIC intercepts as part of a plot to lure the Japanese into making the first overt hostile move in the Pacific."

Kimmel, Thomas K., Jr.

1. and J. A. Williams. "Why Did the Attack on Pearl Harbor Occur? An Intelligence Failure? FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Thought He Knew." Intelligencer 17, no. 1 (Winter-Spring 2009): 53-59.

The grandson of Admiral Kimmel offers up another tidbit -- an FBI memorandum concerning the breaking and handling of Japanese radio traffic -- in the ongoing debate about who knew what prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

2. J.A. Williams, and Paul Glyn Williams. "The FBI's Role in the Pearl Harbor Attack." American Intelligence Journal 27, no. 1 (Fall 2009): 41-48.

The lead author is a former FBI agent and grandson of Adm. Husband E. Kimmel. He argues that FBI "Director Hoover, from a position of influence, shielded the FBI from blame [for the attack on Pearl Harbor] by hiding a number of its failures, some of them potentially pivotal."

Kirkpatrick, Lyman B., Jr. Captains Without Eyes: Intelligence Failures in World War II. New York: Macmillan, 1969. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1969.

Clark comment: This book presents cases studies of Barbarossa, Pearl Harbor, Dieppe, Arnhem, and the Battle of the Bulge. According to Pforzheimer, much of this "is now more comprehensively presented by later declassified information." Similarly, Constantinides refers readers to more recent accounts of each of the failures Kirkpatrick discusses.

Koster, John. Operation SNOW: How A Soviet Mole in FDR's White House Triggered Pearl Harbor. Washington, DC: Regnery, 2012.

Peake, Studies 57.2 (Jun. 2013), gives this work more space/time than it deserves. He concludes that before this work "can be accepted as serious history it requires serious documentation. Case not made."

Lambert, John W., and Norman Polmar. Defenseless: Command Failure at Pearl Harbor. St. Paul, MN: Motorbooks, 2003.

Seamon, Proceedings 130.4 (Apr. 2004), notes briefly that this work "argues that the various investigations into the Japanese attack on Hawaii were correct in concluding both men [Kimmel and Short] were guilty of dereliction of duty."

Landis, Kenneth [LTCDR/USN], and Rex Gunn [SSGT/USA]. Deceit at Pearl Harbor -- From Pearl Harbor to Midway. Bloomington, IN: 1st Books Library, 2001.

Mayes, www.milmag.com, finds that the authors "rehash[] the theory that Roosevelt allowed" the Japanese attack to happen, but their "research is virtually nonexistent.... The text suffers significantly from poor editing, with grammatical, format and contextual errors detracting from both credibility and readability.... This book cannot be taken seriously by those interested in the Pearl Harbor attack."

Layton, Edwin T. [RADM/USN (Ret.)], with Roger Pineau [CAPT/USNR (Ret.)] and John Costello. "And I Was There": Pearl Harbor & Midway -- Breaking the Secrets. New York: Morrow, 1985.

Beesly, I&NS 1.3, calls this "a most convincing explanation of why US intelligence failed to prevent Pearl Harbor." It is simultaneously "as entralling as a first-rate thriller" and "a serious, well-documented history." For Kruh, Cryptologia 30.4 (Oct. 2006), "this is the best World War II naval history" he has ever read. Sexton notes that Layton blames "the failure to properly interpret MAGIC before Pearl Harbor and the near misinterpretation of Sigint prior to Midway" on Washington decision-making and Navy Department bureaucrats.

To Miller, IJI&C 1.2, And I Was There is a "notable contribution to the literature on Pearl Harbor." Layton was a "thoughtful, honorable, and honest man. His unique vantage point makes this book authoritative." The book provides an "extremely interesting history of the development, organization, and successes of radio intelligence (sigint), including cryptanalysis, between the two World Wars and until the end of the second one."

Levite, Ariel. Intelligence and Strategic Surprise. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.

Clark comment: Levite, a former Israeli defense analyst, looks at the intelligence-strategic surprise nexus through the cases of Pearl Harbor and Midway. Kovacs, IJI&C 10.4, says that Levite has a "good bibliography on strategic surprise."

In a lengthy analysis, Uri Bar-Joseph, "Review Article: Methodological Magic," Intelligence and National Security 3, no. 4 (Oct. 1988), 134-155, argues that "this study suffers from fundamental methodological mistakes that undermine its theoretical value. Obviously, the most problematical issue here is the comparison made between two types of strategic surprise: one that starts a war (Pearl Harbor) and the other which takes place while war is in progress (Midway).... [In addition,] [t]he way Levite treats threat indicators before Pearl Harbor leads one to suspect that his judgement might have been biased, at least partially, toward minimizing the quality and accuracy of these indicators."

Morgenstern, George. Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War. Chicago: Devin Adair, 1947.

Zimmerman, I&NS 17.2/fn.3, calls this work "[p]robably the best exposition of the revisionist case."

Northridge, A. R. "Pearl Harbor: Estimating Then and Now." Studies in Intelligence 9, no. 4 (Fall 1965): 65-74.

"[I]t seems clear ... that we failed to foresee the Japanese assault [on Pearl Harbor] largely because we were influenced by a faulty sterotype of what was an adversary nation." (footnote omitted)

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