U.S.S. Utah, 7 December 1941


Pearl Harbor

P - R

Parker, Frederick D. "The Unsolved Messages of Pearl Harbor." Cryptologia 15 (Oct. 1991): 295-313.

The author argues that the Navy's failure to break Japanese naval signals prevented the exploitation of messages in the Navy's possession that would have warned of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He blames the failure to break JN-25b messages on the emphasis given and resources devoted to the Japanese diplomatic cipher systems. Sexton gives this article a "highly recommended" notation.

Pavlov, Vitali. Operatsia "Sneg" [Operation "Snow"] Moscow: "Geya," 1996.

Gordievsky, I&NS 14.1, points out that the operation in the title is claimed by the author to have taken place in the summer of 1941. It involved the use of Harry Dexter White to work toward provoking war between the United States and Japan, to take the pressure off the Soviet Union in the Far East. The reviewer is less than convinced by Pavlov's tale: "[E]verthing he says in Operation 'Snow' has to be taken with a heavy pinch of salt."

Pfennigwerth, Ian. A Man of Intelligence: The Life of Captain Theodore Eric Nave, Australian Codebreaker Extraordinary. Dural, NSW, Australia: Rosenberg Publishing, 2006.

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 30.4 (Oct. 2006), Neve's skills gained him "widespread respect and admiration within the closed confines of Allied codebreaking before, during, and after World War Two." Peake, Studies 52.2 (Jun. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), comments that "conspiracy devotees" will ignore this book, because the author shows that the critical parts of Rusbridger and Nave's Betrayal at Pearl Harbor (1991) were written without Nave's involvement. The biography will, however, be "accepted with gratitude by intelligence historians and clear-thinking readers."

Coish, Canadian Military Journal 8.2 (Summer 2007), calls this "an objective account of the life and times" of Nave. The author "has carefully ... documented some excellent examples of how Nave's cryptanalysis efforts directly or indirectly contributed to both the pre-war indicators and the many operational Allied successes in the Pacific theatre." This book "is a necessary read for the military historian, and an excellent signal intelligence for the budding intelligence student -- or the interested amateur."

Prange, Gordon W.

1. At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981. New York: Penguin, 1982. [pb]

Clausen and Lee, Pearl Harbor: Final Judgement (1992), refers to Gordon Prange's "excellent work," and notes: "Prange did not draw any conclusions in his book. This was partially rectified in the 1991 anniversary reprint by his collaborators, Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon." (p. 6, fn 1) See also, Kahn, NYRB, 27 May 1982, 26-30.

2. Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986. New York: Penguin, 1991. [pb]

The author concludes that one of greatest problems was "the failure to communicate. This aspect of the matter may well stand as one of the basic causes of the Pearl Harbor tragedy, second only to the failure to believe in its possibility. One by one, these failures pass in sorry review: failure to ensure understanding; failure of seniors to supply all available relevant information to juniors; failure to supervise and follow through; failure of juniors to be sure they understood their seniors; lack of clarity of expression." (p. 562)

Ramsay, Logan C. "The 'Ifs' of Pearl Harbor." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 76 (1950): 364-371. [Calder]

Richardson, David C. "You Decide." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 117, no. 12 (Dec. 1991), 34-39.

The title here is disingenuous at best. The author has already decided that Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Stark and President Roosevelt bear the blame -- or worse -- for U.S. unpreparedness at Pearl Harbor. The problem with the argument presented is that no new evidence accompanies it. The claim that the British had broken and were reading the JN-25 cipher prior to Pearl Harbor is nothing more than that -- a claim. Sexton's judgment that this article "[s]hould be read with skepticism" seems valid.

Rodgaard, John [LCDR/USNR], and Team.

1. "The Fifth Submarine." American Intelligence Journal 15, no. 2 (Autumn-Winter 1994): 77-78.

This analysis of a 1941 Japanese photograph concludes that a fifth Japanese midget submarine "successfully entered Pearl Harbor ... [and] launched both its torpedoes." The article is excerpted from the Analysis and Final Report on Japanese Midget Submarine Activity in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, prepared for the USS Arizona Memorial by AUTOMETRIC, INC. (Dec. 6/20, 1994).

2. "Japanese Midget Submarines at Pearl Harbor." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 11, no. 2 (Apr. 1995): 1-3.

This is a slightly different and expanded version of the AIJ article above. The main photograph is larger/better here.

A letter from M.D. (Ron) Ziegler, an experienced imagery analysis who specialized in submarine I&W, in Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 11, no. 3 (Jul. 1995), 15-16, states: "I would guess ... that the torpedoes we see evidence of here came from aircraft. The 'rooster-tails' are possibly splashes from recently air-dropped torpedoes.... I see nothing in the imagery that indicates there was a submarine present."

Rusbridger, James. "Winds of Warning: Mythology and Fact About Enigma and Pearl Harbor." Encounter 66 (Jan. 1986): 6-13.

Rusbridger, James, and Eric Nave. Betrayal at Pearl Harbor: How Churchill Lured Roosevelt into World War II. New York: Summit, 1991. London: O'Mara, 1991. Old Tappan, NJ: Simon & Schuster, 1992. [pb]

According to Surveillant 2.6, Betrayal at Pearl Harbor "remains highly controversial with both sides denying that any ... findings are true. Rusbridger is an expert on the history of intelligence and the author of many books on that topic. Nave is the father of British codebreaking in the Far East and lives in Australia."

Biard, Cryptolog 14.1, provides a positive reading of Rusbridger and Nave's theories, while Whitlock, Cryptolog 14.2, suggests that "if you have not read this book, I would not recommend that you rush right out and buy one." Whitlock, Cryptolog 14.4, later responded directly to Biard's article: "I can state with authority and finality that no warning message from Singapore ever arrived at Station Cast." He concludes that "[t]he revisionist article by Forrest Biard is graced neither by facts nor by fairness and must be summarily rejected."

Rusbridger, "Did Singapore Send a Warning to Station Cast," Cryptolog 14.4 (Summer 1993): 3, 18. "There is absolutely no doubt the British Gov't Code & Cipher School (GCCS) ... broke JN-25 in the fall of 1939.... After the war, Churchill pretended he had got all his codebreaking intelligence about the Japanese only from Roosevelt ... whereas, in fact, he was ... getting it faster than Roosevelt.... [I]n the recent book Pearl Harbor: Final Judgement,... Clausen's material proves that Churchill deliberately falsified history in order to conceal the extent of his knowledge of Japanese plans." See also, Rusbridger, "[Letter] Roosevelt, Magic and Ultra." Cryptolog 14.4 (Summer 1993): 4.

Gish, IJI&C 6.3, opines that the book "makes a feeble case for a conspiracy based on hearsay and misconstrued bits and pieces of information misleadingly presented as evidence.... The book is filled not only with large and basic errors of a cryptologic nature ... but with errors of fact.... [T]he arguments and evidence presented ... reveal[] no basis for the fanciful conspiracy theory developed in the book."

For Tordella and Fishel, IJI&C 6.3, "this book does so much wanton damage to historical fact that it should not be allowed into the record without a thorough inquest." It "violates common sense" and is a "complete fabrication.... [I]n 1941 JN-25 was for all practical purposes unreadable, unproductive of intelligence." Nave's "knowledge of the history of JN-25 must have been so defective as to render his recollections worthless." Betrayal at Pearl Harbor is a "conglomeration of confusion and error.... This could be a book-length hoax."

Aldrich, I&NS 7.3, argues that "[n]owhere do the authors provide convincing evidence" of deliberate duplicity on Churchill's part. Instead, what is offered is "only the thinnest of circumstantial evidence from which a number of questionable deductions are drawn." Sissons, I&NS 9.2, agrees with this judgment, noting that the evidence produced by the authors for "a signal sent to the [Japanese] carrier force on 25 November ... that revealed its position and likely destination ... is unconvincing."

See also, Pfennigwerth, A Man of Intelligence: The Life of Captain Theodore Eric Nave, Australian Codebreaker Extraordinary (2006), which Peake, Studies 52.2 (Jun. 2008), says shows that the critical parts of Betrayal at Pearl Harbor were written without Nave's involvement.

Russell, Henry Dozier [LTG/USANG (Ret.)]. Pearl Harbor Story. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2001.

Brooks, NIPQ 18.2/3, notes that the author served on the Army Pearl Harbor Board of 1944 and wrote these recollections of the Board's work in 1946. He "provides interesting insights into the inter-personal chemistry of the Board members, debates among them, and 'color commentary' on the proceedings.... Russell's bottom line is that Washington was every bit as much at fault for the surprise at Pearl Harbor as was Honolulu."

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