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Museum Lecture: The Story within the Pearl Harbor Story

1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

Saturday, September 15, 2018

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The Marshall talk takes advantage of the newest thing in the Pearl Harbor story to my knowledge, and that is his secret meeting with reporters 22 days before the attack. Historian Hanson Baldwin discussed this meeting in his 1950 book GREAT MISTAKES OF THE WAR styling it as "a profound catalogue of error." Baldwin did not reveal any of his sources the main one of which did not go public until 1964, and it was only then that the public learned that Marshall had called the meeting. I learned all this from reading Kimmel's copy of Baldwin's book, and following up to find his sources. What makes this of interest is to learn how wrong Marshall was about his cockamamie strategy to win the war 22 days before the attack, and the fact this meeting was withheld from all Pearl Harbor investigations. Marshall certainly saw no need to offer it to investigators--numerous generic solicitations by investigators to do so notwithstanding.

It is a pretty sure bet that Kimmel did not know that Marshall was behind this "profound catalogue of error." Of further interest it offers an explanation, maybe for the first time, of why in Kimmel's words, "“No one has ever explained why the weaknesses so clearly described in the Secretary of the Navy's letter of 24 January 1941, were permitted to continue during all these months at this outlying station whose security was vital to the safety of the fleet and of the United States.”

Admission: CHA Members $15; Non-Members $18

RSVP: Preferred, but not required.

Tickets: Sold at the Museum Store up until the event begins.

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