When Halsey asked Kimmel what he should do if he met Japanese forces on his way to Wake Island Kimmel said "Do what makes sense." "Best goddamn orders I've ever heard. If I see so much as a sampan I'll sink it." His orders to the force were "We are now steaming under wartime conditions."RF wrote:This proposed novel poses some interesting questions.
As at 5 December 1941 Japan is not at war with the US. Legally neither side can open fire, both the Clemson and the IJN are sailing in international waters.
If the Clemson fires first what is the source authority for this? The vessels CO on his own initiative, or the US Pacific Feet command in Hawaii?
Potentially that situation could change the course of history as President Roosevelt would have to reckon with history recording that the US made the first shot - reference to his speech in Congress declaring war on Japan.
No suggestions.I assume the proposed novel would detail that the Japanese fired first in an attempt to prevent a sighting report and that the ships radio is destroyed and that the ship outruns initially the Japanese ships. But why run to Pearl Harbor? Not Midway Island? Not seek out a fishing boat with a radio?
Ships did sail independently but the destroyer would be close to it's endurance range. For the novel we could posit a line of picket destroyers used because the Aircraft Information Center (AIC) was not yet operational, so radar contacts would be unlikely. (And yes, Opana Point's contact was unlikely because it came after they were supposed to have shut down. Lockard and Elliot were, in point of fact, disobeying orders.)And in what circumstances would the USS Clemson be alone in the first place and not part of a several ship scouting force?
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