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Lieutenant Commander Hawaii Operation

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was termed the Hawaii Operation. The planning was instigated by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Yamamoto, Isoruku) who asked Rear Admiral Takajire Onishi to draft a proposal. He in turn put Commander Minoru Genda (Genda, Minoru) to work and a scheme with eight key considerations was generated. The enterprise was undertaken by the First Air Fleet under the command of Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo (Nagumo, Chuichi). American espionage might have revealed the plan in time but inter-service rivalry, a lack of imaginative leadership and an under-estimation of Japanese abilities combined to prevent this. The essential concept was so to damage American maritime power in the Pacific that no serious opposition to the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere could further challenge Japan from the east. The long-term plan failed, partly because no aircraft carriers were present in Pearl Harbor on 7 December and partly because the damage done to those ships that were there was too slight. Moreover, the American reaction was not to seek a negotiated peace, but to bend all energies to the pursuit of war.

See also: Espionage; First Air Fleet; Genda, Minoru; Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere; Nagumo, Chuichi; Pearl Harbor; Yamamoto, Isoroku

You can find out more about the Hawaii Operation in the following Osprey books:

CAMPAIGN 62 Pearl Harbor 1941; AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES 22 Japanese Navy Aces 1937-45