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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 19, 2011 7:00am-8:00am EST

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>> the store, well, i mean, my father knows more about that than i do. i mean, it kept going for 50 years. it's run quite haphazardly. i think it probably does, but, you know, there are also and thought of problems here that need to be fixed, organized. >> you're watching booktv on
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c-span2. 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. >> this past wednesday was the 70th anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor. craig shirley details the bombing and the subsequent reaction by the american government, military, and public as they entered into world war ii. this is about 50 minutes. >> thank you all for joining us here at the heritage foundation for this afternoon. as you notice we're somewhat back to 1941 era with her music beforehand. we would ask everyone here in houston to make that last courtesy check that cell phones have been turned off. and, of course, we welcome internet questions from our internet viewers simply e-mailing us at heritage speaker at orca. our guest today is craig shirley.
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greatest president of shirley and bannister public affairs, a government relations and marketing firm. he has written for the "washington post," "los angeles times," "washington times," conservative digest, "the weekly standard," many other publications. he previously authored "reagan's revolution: the untold story of the campaign that started it all." that was the first book detailing reagan's pivotal 1976 challenge to president ford and republican primaries. and he also authored "rendezvous with destiny: ronald reagan and the campaign that changed america." for the 1980 campaign really the behind the scenes story of that run for the white house. you will note there is a consistency in craig's books. rendezvous in this are both very well researched, although this one was over about 15 months. and this one is only about 31 days. you're getting very more detailed. we are pleased to have with us today, we'll do some questions out there and then open it up to
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the audience for anything out there as well. there were a lot of things different in 1941 pick your a lot of things still the same. the redskins were being referred to as the dead skins, among others for those of you in the group are football fans will appreciate that when of course. they were doing some of the arguments that even we're doing still today. was capitalism dead? marxism in several of those things. craig, you talk about leading up to the seventh, and what about the culture of that period of time did you find more interesting? or surprising. >> america was very inward looking country on december 6, 1941. that was a saturday, and it was quiet in america. people were, if you're listening to the radio they were listening to bob hope or shirley temple or local programming like here in washington, whose kids and
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things like that. that night they're going to movies and seeing john doe and now to stop them, citizen kane, and maybe the movie international squadron start an actor by the name of ronald reagan. but america was looking forward to a somewhat prosperous christmas for the first time in years. unemployment had recently dipped to about 10%, which is the lowest it had been during the administration of franklin roosevelt. they were not thinking about war, not in the context of american men and women getting involved in a war. world war i had left a very bad taste in americans mouth. the war to end all wars, the war to make the world safer, democracy had done just the opposite and given rise to very undemocratic institutions in italy, germany and other places. we were walled off we believe,
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to giant oceans, and after world war i it was a saying going around america that the only thing we got was debt and debt. so we were distinctly isolationists. in fact, neutrality acts have been passed in the 1930s, including one that prohibited american soldiers from leaving north america. that's how, and, of course, we passed of the restrictive trade acts. we were very inward looking, very un-interested in getting involved in european, and weren't thinking about war in the pacific. that's as of the eating of december 6 spent i think you also mentioned culture, cigarettes were everywhere. >> cigarettes were everywhere, that's right. >> they were advertised everywhere. >> everywhere. everybody spoke to the average american spoke about 2500 cigarettes a year, that's the average american. people smoking movies. when he went to movies they
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smoke in restaurants. they smoke on airplanes. they smoked on. >> translator: spoke on train platforms. they smoked on libraries to privacy their own homes, cigarettes were very much a part of culture. considered to be sophisticated. >> and you had radio was the major -- >> absolutely. radio and television at the time, i beg your pardon. newspapers. there was no television per se. there was a little bit but not really. although the first television ad have been broadcast 19414 bulova watches. but there were almost 2000 giving newspapers in america in 1941. most of which were afternoon newspapers, not morning newspapers. >> we also noted the culture was somewhat different. you start each chapter with headlines and some other things. airport coffee shop refuse to serve colored quartet out of the
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washington evening star. that, of course, they were very conscious of the divisions, segregation. did it not also play into the internment that eventually came about? >> i don't know if, overlooked in the whole instrument issue is the fact that the tide americans and german americans were interned by the fbi. eventually over the accepted figures about 100,000 japanese, italian and german americans were interned at some point during world war ii. but there was, it was great here in america after december 7, not only because of the attack, an obvious it was great anger because after the attack in japan declares war on america. is really offended american sense of fair play. but there was, the government
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knew and the roosevelt white house knew that both the germans and japanese had incredible spy networks operating in the united states, and in the territory of hawaii, included this number right here was prepared by the office of naval intelligence on december 4, 26 page memo, that we found in the franklin roosevelt library. i don't think it's have seen the light of day before but it goes into great detail about japanese espionage activities. dear washington, new york, at all major military installations, especially naval around the country and in the canal zone and in the hawaiian territory. >> where do you fall on that long-standing question? >> no. i dug us are as a good on that, john. is that in some ways it's similar to the time before september 11, and that there were pieces to the puzzle scattered about the government but had never been assembled. and even so, is that even if
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they had been assembled nobody i don't think would have come up with the idea that the japanese were going to attack on pearl harbor on december 7. straws were in the wind. we knew that. the government may be new that in the roosevelt white house knew that. the japanese had become increasingly militaristic. they invaded east china. they invaded manchuria. they had quit the league of nations. they signed the tripartite pact in september 1941 which formed a mutual defense treaty with those two, and thus form the axis powers, the three principal axis powers. so there have been more and more belligerent behavior on the part of the empire of japan, and so we were watching very closely, i do not close enough, but i just want to read him this memo, this is page two and this is the memo
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we uncovered. it says the focal point of the japanese espionage effort is the determination of the total strike of the united states. anticipation of a possible open conflict with this country, japan is utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information. paying particular attention to the west coast, panama canal and the territory of hawaii. so there were theories, there was speculation, that newspapers a week before had a headline that said, which is why the island chain, the japanese attack expected this weekend, the other areas of government have speculated about military move by the japanese but most thought it was just beyond and the imagination. everybody thought that the next
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military move, because they invaded china, they had a master of 100,000 troops. the next move was an invasion of tiling. >> because they were negotiating? >> yes, the morning, right as the bombs were falling in pearl harbor. secretary of state cordell hall was meeting with japanese envoys. but the negotiations had broken down at that point. the japanese had sent, told you it the 13th part of a long, long communiqué. it was all basically an attack on the united states come attack on u.s. military policy, attack on diplomatic policy and they were essentially announcing their breaking up diplomatic relations. but that's not really to work. and withdrawn their ambassadors but many countries have broken up to romantic relations and with other ambassadors without it being a declaration of war.
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>> and some have questioned, too, we did not declare war on all three. >> that's a very interesting point here the night of december 7, president roosevelt convenes a meeting at the white house with the members of the cabinet and with the congressional leadership. one of the members of the cabinet was henry stimson who was the secretary of war, very capable public servant. in his papers we found a declaration, a draft of the declaration of war against japan and germany and italy. but as we all know the next the roosevelt only declared war on japan. but it was clearly being discussed, clearly being considered because there was a draft of the declaration of war against all three axis powers. >> but they were not considered in its? >> no, we definitely consider them a unit. we waited until they declared
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war on us. on the 11th. my assumption is that it's interesting because japan attacked us on the seventh, we declare war and then they declare war of the afternoon of the seventh. we declare war on japan on december 8. but in the intervening four days between the seventh and 11th, it is a detected no national will in this country, no columns, no editorials, no outrage from the citizenry saying we have to go to war with nazi germany and fascist italy. it's only after they declare war on us that we go through the motions of declaring war on them. >> and in some ways it's ironic because roosevelt almost immediately goes to the european theater as his primary focus. >> and in the days after, we are not at war, truly a world war. churchill was pressuring roosevelt to develop material
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and the arsenal of democracy first to europe at the way for the pacific later. and, indeed, there's some evidence that roosevelt was more inclined to see it in two stages. one is to help great britain, and then too, to take on the japanese. >> with any of that have to do with the current condition at the time of our military? >> very much so. we didn't really have a two ocean navy, so we are moving ships back and forth between the atlantic and the pacific. and, of course, the japanese had done great damage at pearl harbor to much of the fleet. for chile the three carriers had been out on assignment so that they were not there. and that was the principal target of the japanese were the three american carriers. so fortunately they were out. but we were completely defensive in the pacific. we eventually lost wake island
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that we eventually lost guam. we eventually lost the philippines. the british eventually lost hong kong, singapore and malaya. well, they went after midway but we did hold midway and then he went after midway again in june of 42 but were able to hold it again and when that decisive battle. >> i be glad to recognize audience question, so if you want to put a hand up anytime i'll catch you, otherwise we'll keep on going from up here. i'd like to go over a few people. what about admiral kimmel? >> a true victim. he had been recently installed as the head of cincpac in the pacific. and was in, was unaware, was getting water warnings from washington. as was short, the army general who is in charge of the
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garrison, walter short. but they come in the days after pearl harbor, scapegoats were frankly needed. and dublin was either going to go towards, because there were calls for congressional investigation. the media wanted to know what happened, and, how did this happen? how were we caught with our pants down? and quite frankly the blame was either going to go to roosevelt, going to go to stimson and hall in the navy, or was going to go to husband kimmel and short. so as kind of a political calculation, that people in washington are more public assistance given these two military men and that access to media and is not amended have access to. so eventually they were replaced by fdr and actually both left the military and janet of 1942 spent if i remember right you do
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say that kimmel was obsessed about perl and it being a target? >> yes, he was. and he had recorded it and he had taken some preparations, obviously not enough, but he was very concerned about it. he did have plans up flying, navy planes flying, scouting out around the hawaiian islands looking for possible ships coming in. >> but i think you also point out they were always on the same schedule at the same time in the same route. >> exactly, exactly. and, of course, the japanese consulate was there, right there on a wahoo, a beautiful location that overlooks pearl harbor. survivor out of the consulate they could see the comings and goings of naval vessels. and they could see, because the planes were sent up to do their inspection of his surrounding waters around, they were set up everyday at the same time. so the theory was, the japanese were able to schedule the fleet
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to come in close at a time when those navy planes were not on their surveillance missions spent if you wait for the microphone and don't mind identifying yourself as a courtesy. >> my name is joseph barton. regarding the situation as far as the nazis looking outward or inward in december 1941, how much knowledge was there within the country, we were actually firing, the germans, the german navy and the american navy were in fact at war. there was a lot of fighting going on. >> there were a couple of ships. >> was there an american crews are? >> they were both commercial and naval vessels that were fired upon and sunk in the north atlantic. ever since, back in the spring of 1941, of course fdr as you know had instituted land lease with great britain to help with churchill. upon the action, adolf hitler
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ordered a shoot on sight order to the wolfpack's that were patrolling the north atlantic. but the american people knew about it, and it was not a spur to them to get involved in the european war even though this was, war was, in fact, going on, naval war was going on in the north atlantic. and, of course, roosevelt in kind order to enable ships to defend themselves against the u-boat. [inaudible] >> no, not on public opinion. >> lusitania wasn't -- >> and in some respects we forget over a period of time, japan was already at war in asia from 37. they had been four years in fighting over the. >> right. >> and then where at two years in three months with germany and europe. so it's not totally isolation in debt. itches we don't want to get
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involved. >> we are aware of it, we just don't want to get involved with it. especially committing actual manpower into combat positions. >> yes, down here in the front. if you would also wait for the microphone. >> how much impact did it have when the united states decided to curtail supplying japan with certain critical kinds of material? >> there's a theory that's kind of floated around there for years that we somehow provoked the japanese into attacking us. one of them was that fdr personally ordered the fleet moved from san diego to honolulu in the spring of 1941. but those embargoes, and by the way, we didn't embargo oil because we didn't want to send too much of a shock to the economy so we kept shipping oil,
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but scrap metal and things like that we stopped shipping. but that was in response to the invasion of china. so it wasn't the other way around it wasn't that our actions provoke them into military actions. we were taking economic actions in response to the militaristic actions. >> somebody else from the audience? i will start down my other list of people. sorry. >> i usually look to my far right. [laughter] >> my question is, was it a cultural thing that we have greatly underestimated the japanese military prowess? >> maybe that was a factor. surveillance was not easy on an island that was thousands of miles away from the united states. we had no nearby bases to do
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overflights. it was all based on your bait -- hearsay. the military did their best to track the japanese ships in the pacific but were frequently lose track of the. we attempted to track japanese ship movements but also lost track of those as well. there's probably a little bit of that. it was definitely, it was a failure of imagination on the part of everybody in america to imagine that a japanese armada could sell thousands of miles, stopping middle of the pacific to refuel, and then steamed up again and make its way all the way undetected because, you know, we forget that pan am, for instance, they had teen overflights between san francisco and the philippines and other parts of the pacific. there were commercial vessels, fishing ships that operated there. there were naval ships that
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operated there. and so i think it was partially the assumption that nobody could get away with this, with this massive strike. but it was probably a bit of cultural aspect to that as well. >> any under estimation of our ability to respond? complacency? >> they thought, the japanese, bought into the myth that america was soft, that we are only interested in creature comforts, that we could not conduct aggressive warfare, that we did have a national will to do it spent of course it did take us until able to hit tokyo. >> right, that's right. >> yes, back in the back. >> barry wasser. billy mitchell many years before had predicted a japanese attack on pearl harbor. i think he was off a one half hour in the morning. was that an issue with the took his advice, or did it go back to
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waters original documentation? did you find any answer to the? >> no, i didn't. i do know is that there have been some analysis of previous military action by the japanese, what was noted was, for instance, the case of the russian japanese war at the outset of the 20th century. and the japanese instigated war with russia had attacked on a sunday without an essay or declaring war first. they sailed into the harbor, the navy, and essentially blew apart the russian navy that was there. so the japanese, as far as i know, never actually went to the formality of declaring war before they actually engaged in war. there were other predictions about, you know, possible attacks. but again, i go back to, nobody
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could concede that somebody would be that audacious, that they would try something so risky. >> speaking of audacious, it wouldn't have seen to be quite as the dishes, the japanese, to attack the philippines. we didn't even will have much of a naval presence in the philippines, and a minimal army. was there no thought given to the fact? that would almost look like on a map, there's the next target. >> well, there was, it had been reported as of december 1 that it looked as if there was a horseshoe encirclement of the philippines and douglas macarthur around the main island. and as a matter of fact, they did attack on december 8. and that was an actual target. as was thailand, because japan,
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as you know, has no natural resources per se. they don't have oil. they don't have natural gas. they don't have rare earth metals. they don't have precious metals that are needed. so this is why they were expanding outward. the empire was expanding out to wander from the nearby countries, those resources that they need to supply their military machinery. and the philippines were obviously rich in natural resources and precious metals, and so that was clear to a target was thailand. but the three was, among a lot of navy men and the japanese had said as much, what they really wanted to do, there was a cultural resentment on the part of the japanese that the british and the americans were in the western pacific. so that is, to that extent that is true. what they really wanted to do was to decapitate the british and military presence in the central to western pacific him and then superb piece and half
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that reason all to themselves without any interference without either of the allied powers. >> you mentioned one character, do want to see anything more about general macarthur in this case? >> he was brilliant. i think that his occupation of postwar japan should have earned him the nobel peace prize. he was able to do it better than it was handled by american in europe, especially in berlin cutting berlin into three sections, four sections was ludicrous. it led to the division's of course what happened at yalta i think most conservatives say is astonishing but we forget that churchill was there, not just roosevelt, and he allowed stalin to take all of eastern europe. macarthur would not take any guff from the russians.
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they tried to occupy the hokey the island chain. and he told them if you do that, i'll through the entire general staff into prison. so was able to keep the russians from taking any territory. and, of course, he brought in a constitution. he brought in a peacetime free market economy, and otherwise brought in protest of changes for the culture and for women, and truly we made the country and did a brilliant job at it. he made mistakes at the philippines on december 8, by not dispersing their place. they're still landed when tip to wing tip. it was easy for one bomb dropping from a japanese plane to destroy many planes on the ground. so he had not dispersed his points. by mid-december he has no air force to fight off the onslaught of the japanese air force. which obviously led to his
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eventual demise of the philippine and american army, they retreat to, macarthur's retreat to australia. but this counteroffensive began was an act of brilliance in moving up the asian peninsula and bypassing japanese strong points. i mean, douglas macarthur had his good points and his bad points, but i think is good points far outweigh his bad points. >> another controversial figure and also a hero in america, charles lindbergh. >> yes. was the spokesman, not head of the american first movement but he was the most famous member of the american first movement. he was not, you know, there's been this mythology that he was a not a sympathizer. you is not a knotty sympathizer. he was a patriot. he was an american. he did not like franklin roosevelt. i can roosevelt from all accounts did not like charles lindbergh. but there were many people that were involved in the american first movement, people think of
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as some kind of right wing isolationist operation. but as a matter of fact, by descender, the america first movement is a very respected political institution in that there were men and women on the left and the right involved. walt disney was a member. house that was a democratic nominee in 1928 was a member, and so was herbert hoover. labor, e.e. cummings, lowell thomas, the commonest activist was a member of the country. american first move was a politically potent that they were actually making plans to open up a campaign office and every congressional district for 1942 to support the most isolationist candidate running for office whether the republican and democrat, and there were many members of roosevelt own democratic party it was strident isolationists. >> on that issue, too, the united mine workers were isolationists. >> right.
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>> unusual. but you also indicate prior to the seventh that campuses, college campuses where moe -- were more pro-war? >> there were some academics and intellectuals. interesting fact, along the coast and along in the cities, among the intellectual class and editorialists there were more interest in helping churchill and great britain but that's because they were more democratic with a campuses and they knew where fdr was, where his thinking was. but then if you go down the middle of the country, the real parts of the country, there are more isolationists. >> anyone else? audience? you mentioned again, what about winston churchill's relationship? had it built before this? >> they only met once before in 1918 and they were not really all that enamored with each other. although they had a lot in common. i mean, jon meacham said that it
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was love of the sea and love of strong drink him and love of adventure that brought them together. mecham's book, franklin, winst winston. they grew to become very fond of each other although churchill was more fond of roosevelt than roosevelt was of churchill. churchill once said that meeting franklin was a was like opening a bottle of champagne, and roosevelt once told churchill that he was glad they lived in the same decade. so there was a respect. churchill came to visit. it was astonishing and it was big news in america. churchill came to america several days before christmas in 1941, stayed at the white house. lived in the west wing. [inaudible] >> exactly. and left london by a blackout train and took a harrowing
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flight, or took a ship across the atlantic and then landed in boston and into from boston to washington. all top secret could never was in the press. only people on a need to know basis knew about this, and then all of a sudden there's churchill in washington. this is big news. winston churchill was a hugely popular figure in america, as he remains today. but there was one funny story is that churchill got up early bathing and was in his birthday suit, and the president opened the door to a suite in the white house and churchill is, they were both surprised. >> audience? everybody, no, thank you. here we go. i know, this is ancient history to you.
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>> if we could go back to general macarthur. i know what truman thought of stuff like looking weapons, much of that. what was macarthur spot on the? and you think if we would not have used a nuclear weapon, macarthur would still have had the capability to kind of control the entire japan issue, like, within russia? meaning would russians had more power if we didn't use nuclear weapons? >> macarthur was personally repulsed and -- a special on civilian cities. there was a lot of people thought at the time that truman should demonstrate the might of america by detonating it in tokyo bay with minimal loss of lives, so the emperor himself would see the awesome power of the atomic bomb.
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the commonly held, and it's probably true, belief is that the war would have gone on for several more years. the japanese culture is such that you surrender to your enemy is the worst thing you can do to be captive of your enemy is worse than death. that's part of the culture that was dominant in japan at the time it. but the would have maybe cost a million casualties on the part of the allies if we had gone to the invasion and had to fight inch by inch by inch to take the entire, all the japanese islands. and, of course, truman never looked back. there was never any, he never second guess himself so there's probably a lot of truth to the notion that it did shortcut the war and it did ultimately save lives. although i personally think that truman should have tried demonstrating it without hitting a civilian city first.
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and given the emperor time to consider, you know, the implications of it being dropped on cities. [inaudible] >> macarthur still would have been supreme commander. he still would've that allied forces there to occupy -- there may have been more resentment, because he was a student of history. and he knew that alexander and caesar and others had failed in concord countries because their policies were very tough on the local populace. and he was not going to make that mistake by allowing allied troops to be harsh or cruel to the civilian population. [inaudible] >> if it would have taken us a few more years, do you think it would have made more complex
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taking more? >> i think he would've had i suspect more of a pretext. of course, the only declared war on japan after japan surrender surrendered. but they may have, they were part of the allies, and may have been part of the army. i army. i don't know, sir to macarthur would have been in command of them. would have nature of that, you know, as fdr and then later truman. but i don't know. i don't know. that's a good question. >> i think i want to go to the date of december 7 and focus all of it here in washington. i found it interesting that the prognostication of the bombing was like 30 minutes off and it was interesting to realize that a white at the time was on a half hour different timeframe from us, which i'd not realized. so actually when the current first struck it was like
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1:05 year. the redskins were playing the eagles. and people were not with cell phones, of course. and a few people would have press announcements come, call your office, this and that. as you -- as the rumor of war spread, the seats empty. one enterprising wife center husband was attending the game a telegram, delivered to section p., top row, see 27, opposite 25-yard line, the site, griffith stadium, war in japan, get to office. the redskins ownership later said using the p.a. to announce the warners was against its management's policy. now, of course today -- >> how many times at war occurred while the redskins were playing a game? [laughter] >> right. the other thing today, it would have been panic with cell phones and communications. >> sure that go into a little
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bit how we did communicate, how washington reacted, and, of course, the rapidity and the massive extent to which the government took over. >> well, radio and one on one communication dominated everything. everybody gathered around the radios in their cars or car radios on the streets or the radius that might be set up by the radio repair stores, which was not unusual. i remember that as a boy, tv and radio repair. of the errata right raider ride on the sidewalk playing local music, whatever. the people were gathered around it. they were in hotel lobbies. all those listen to the greatest and after newspapers which were unprecedented, because you didn't do a sunday afternoon newspaper, but the "washington post" and other papers have giant, you know, extra, you know, japan attacks exclamation point newspapers spent without pictures. >> no pictures.
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>> how long did it take to get the full on attack documented? >> it was weeks. the american people were not told the extent. only names of a couple ships leaked out and they were not told extent of the destruction of several hundred planes. nor were they told extent of how many men had actually died during the attack of pearl harbor. it wasn't for weeks that americans were told the full scope of it. the reason being is that the roosevelt government did not want to let the japanese know how successful they have been. so the idea was to put a clamp on it. washington reacts extremely quickly. francis biddle his francis biddle visited attorney general starts to order the round up of the japanese right here in washington. washington becomes pretty much an armed camp. always work as a. military men were told to report in uniform to their base immediately. roosevelt is, that afternoon, is
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taking reports they are coming from the navy and coming from the army. he's meeting with george marshall and frank knox who was, frank knox with the secretary of the navy and harold stark was the chief of naval operations. he's meeting with his political people, hopkins and stephen early was his press secretary. guards are posted around all federal buildings, navy and marine guards with him one carbines, outfitted with bayonets in helmet. machine gun nests go up on all federal buildings. they go up at the memorial bridge. the bridges are closed between virginia and washington. and marshall law is essentially imposed very shortly. so washington becomes an armed camp.
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the constitution and the declaration of independence were put in hiding out in maryland because we were fearful, that time they were on display at the library of congress and they're taking out of the library of congress and hidden in maryland because we were fearful of there being bombed and destroyed. >> military assignment and personal were always polish and newspapers. >> yes. and assigned to the sanitation core, you know, georgia and this is when he is departing. it was all in the newspapers. >> rather interesting. >> sure. >> i'm the kind of guy that comes to these things that nitpicks all little things. a couple things -- [inaudible] >> couple of things that i might comment on, or question. one mentioned isolationist sentiment, or rather the poor war sentiment in american
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colleges. i would tend to think that was much less in sympathy with democratic party ambitions, but more so in anti-fascism based on communicable what it seemed fascism do in western europe. and also, a naïve outlook on, what's the right word, the goodness or badness of the soviet union, that there were a lot of american college students who were still somewhat, you know, communists. communism was a viable thing at the time but i would say that was the anti-fascism was more, more of a factor. >> there were a lot of factors. there wasn't just one factor as far as the academy and editorialists and the writers wanting to be more pro-interventionist than say others in america. there were many factors, and
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certainly sympathy for the soviet union was a factor, no doubt about it. but gallup have been polling in the months before december and fully 70% of the american people were opposed to the entry of the european war. >> another thing, and i don't have my facts clear on this, but it is something, a friend of mine is also somewhat of a military history buff, had talked about was the idea in world war ii, my impression you were saying you thought there was a threat of japan in getting thailand's -- >> which they did to spend but, in fact, they became allies. >> well, it was a puppet government controlled by the japanese. the other objective, invading thailand was we were using, under the land lease, the burma road shanghai shack, saving the chinese nationals against the japanese in east china. so by going into thailand you could achieve -- achieve two goals.
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cut the burma road. >> i just thought there was also a greater threat perhaps in indonesia with more having really more natural resources. >> they had put in french indochina over 100,000 troops. it was only really one place to go from there, and that is to go into thailand. ..
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>> we're going to go to a question over here. >> you, you mentioned that kimmel was a scapegoat -- >> right. >> and you also mentioned admiral stark was a cno in 941, yet admiral king was the cno for most of the war. >> right. >> was there transitions in leadership where heads were cut off because of wrong place, wrong time? >> no, you know, the roosevelt cabinet did not change, george marshall was the secretary of the army for the duration, stitchson and -- stimson and
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hall were in place all the time. really the only significant change was of kimmel in the pacific. other than that, there was not a lot. as it turns out, roosevelt had patton and mcarthur and anymore mets and others who emerged as heros of world war ii. roosevelt l wisely stuck with them. >> only -- oh. go right ahead. >> thank you. stephanie porter with the heritage foundation. with the wars in iraq and afghanistan, um, we are familiar with, um, the concept of suicide missions and suicide attacks. did you in your research come across any fascinating information about the kamikaze pilots back in japan and how
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they carried out attacks in december 1941 and else wise -- elsewhere? >> yeah. >> and how much of that was a departure of conventional warfare and what our ideas of, um, how war should be conducted? >> well, for the japanese it was not a departure. in the japanese culture, to be a prisoner of war, to be a captive of another man was the worst thing you could do. death was preferable. there were rumors that kamikazes had been used, but i found no evidence of an organized kamikaze attack at pearl harbor. there were also rumors at other subsequent battles in the pacific, and this, i think, was more accurate. it was a part of the culture, and the gentleman made reference over here about how the japanese soldier would fight to the death, and it was the same thing
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with the japanese pilots. it was a great honor to die in warfare. >> not that he's that important, but you had a great quote in the book. if you don't remember it, i have it in front of me. but i want you to comment on harold ickes. the insignificant secretary of interior? >> yeah, it was interesting. he was, apparently, a fabulous public speaker, but he did take up and justifiably the cause, the interest of what was happening to jews in europe is be was really the only member of the roosevelt cabinet who was expressing public outrage and public interest in what hitler was doing with his final solution. so he was abrasive, but he was also happened to be right and, i think, was a good man. >> i can't resist the clare
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boothe luce quote since it's the one you use in the book. the mind of a come my star and the soul of a meat axe is how she described him. >> yes, that's right. [laughter] >> so there were some definite characters. let's take one last question over here. >> more a comment that i'll attribute to admiral mihm in its. it was said in the war college that the war in the pacific was war game entirely during the 1930s and every move was anticipate with the the exception of the kamikaze attacks. again, a cultural difference where americans didn't think that way, so they didn't include that in the war planning. >> that is, and i'm glad you brought that up because kimmel talked about that, too, in his book. in the 1950s he wrote a book called "admiral kimmel's story," which was published by regnery, and al told me about meeting the admiral as a child in henry's, in his father's house. is that the job of war gaming is
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to consider everything. you know, martians from space and all these other things. and one of the things they war gamed out was a japanese attack on pearl harbor. but they're supposed to think about every aspect of warfare. and in the japanese culture, there have been novels written about japan attacking pearl harbor. it was very popular with the culture about the japanese military attacking pearl harbor. >> well, i do recommend "december 1941," it's a wonderful diary of each day of that particular month back when the national debt was $57 billion. [laughter] as pointed out on, i think, december 20th in the book or thereabouts, and cheery oats was the brand new cereal of great fame, electric typewriters were just starting out and a few other things were making the world more civilized at that period of time. please, join me in thanking my good friend, craig shirley. [applause]
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>> for more information visit the author's web site, >> mr. waterman, set the stage for this book. what is it baseed on, and take us through what readers can expect. >> well, the book's based on my time in the navy on active duty from 1964 to about halfway through 1977. the reason i wrote the book was i was speaking to my cousin one day about how i hadn't done anything in my life and blah, blah, blah. he looked at me with this funny look, and he said, done anything? you've done something people just get to read about. i went, huh. maybe that's an idea. i said, so i went home, and i
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talked to my wife. she's now deceased, but she said, yeah, you've done a lot of stuff. and i said, well, like what? she says just get out, just start writing. just write it out. she said just write each event like a chanter and then figure out the time frame when they fit in and then clean it up, and somebody will buy it. so i did. and as i wrote it, i mentioned to some people that i was writing about my experiences, and they said, oh, yeah, i remember doing things like that. so what turned out once it was published, i got feedback over the internet, and guys were saying, boy, this reminded me a lot of the stuff i did and got away with and lived through. so it had an appeal for most any young kid who joined the military. i was 18 when i went in, and i was 31 or something like that when i got out off active duty. and i still meet people that
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have read and say, boy, that was great. i loved it. it just remined me of -- reminded me of some of the things that went on when i was in the service, so i said, well, maybe i've got a winner, but -- >> you write in detail about the circumstances which led you to serve in a branch of the armed service, armed forces. can you explain how you ended up serving in the navy in the capacity that you served? >> i was, i was interested in scuba diving, but i sort of put it aside by the time i graduated from high school. and i had gotten into photography, and i worked on the newspaper running the darkroom when somebody went on vacation. i learned a lot of things from that. but i decided my only option due to my impecunious situation was to join the military if i wanted to get out of rockland, maine, and do something interesting. so one day i was down at the post office where the recruiters
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were, and i was going to go see the recruiters. well, the only one that was there was the navy recruiter. and i spoke the him for a while, real nice guy. and boazen's mate first class allen, i can remember his name. i told him what i had in mind. i said, i'm going to quit high school and get out of town. he said, stay in, and i guarantee you'll get a school. so i stayed the extra two or three months, whatever it was, and graduated and went in the navy, and the rest is history. but i did choose to be a photographer's mate which is kind of the closest thing that i could think of that i was doing on the outside. and ended up later becoming a diver. >> you talk about what people thought about military service in the 1960s. can you explain how you feel it was viewed then and how you talk about it in your book?
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>> it was actually worse than what i talk about in the book. after, after i got back from vietnam in late -- '69 i got back, but i went back to the east coast, and a friend of mine and i used to go to washington and take pictures of these demonstrations. we didn't have an opinion about them, but i couldn't believe the stuff that was being said about vietnam veterans. and they were portrayed as druggies and nut cases and people who couldn't make it on the outside and things of that nature. and later on i found out that this was basically a bunch of garbage because they had a better chance of getting a job, they had less suicide, less drug addictions than the general population and is on. so i didn't think too much of the way that we were treated. and i never had anybody spit on me as can be proven by the fact that i'm not still in prison.
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[laughter] and we sort of didn't pay a lot of attention to that. we hung around with people who are of our same way of thinking, and we didn't pay any attention to it for the most part. >> there are a lot of books written about individuals' experiences during vietnam. what makes yours different or sets it apart? >> well, based on, like i say, information, feedback from the book guys saying this is not just another one of those me, me, me, me vietnam books. i give people credit where credit's due on anything, any ideas that came out. i love to help other people succeed if possible. there are some interesting stories, there's a fair bit of humor in there, and i tried not to get too technical. l and in cases where i did use
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technical stuff, i put a footnote for the most part. so it's fairly easy to understand. i don't go into a lot of acronyms and things like most military books do, and the photos are, i hate to say it, but they're very good. and it's about, i think there's 80 or something like that. the first edition which was printed by random house was physically poor quality. it was a paperback with three or four books, this thing is on acid-free paper, and it's larger print for us old guys to read. and that's about it. >> was there a specific event in which you've written about in your book that stands out in your mind? >> um, i guess the first time i got shot at. that sort of, i can remember that. and i found out that you don't have to be shot at very many times before you realize it's not a nice way to spend a half or 30 seconds, however long the
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fire fight lasted. it didn't mess me up, but one case that did have an effect on me was one of the vietnamese guys we were working with mutilated the corpse of a dead vc, and i was not impressed with that at all. i found that i didn't hate the viet cong because i never got captured by them or anything like that, i was never shot or wounded myself. but i worked with people who hated the vietnamese for some reason, and i can't process that information in my head. i just felt that they were in a bad situation, we were trying to help them and not very successfully thanks to our 94th congress, but that's another story. >> the c-span campaign 2012 bus visits communities across the country. to follow the bus' travels, visit >> you've been watching booktv, 48 hours of book programming beginning saturday morning at


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