Reflections on Pearl Harbor

Three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make

Sunday, December 7th, 1941 - Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C. He was paged and told there was a phone call for him. When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone. He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.

Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat - you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.

On Christmas Day, 1941, Admiral Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere you looked. As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, “Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?”

Admiral Nimitz’s reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice. Admiral Nimitz said, “The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which do you think it was?”

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, “What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?”

Nimitz explained, “Mistake number one: the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk, we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
Mistake number two: when the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.
Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in top of the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.
That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or, God was taking care of America.”

Admiral Nimitz was a Texan, born and raised in Fredricksburg, Texas - he was a born optimist. Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeatism. President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job. We desperately needed a leader that could see silver linings in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat. There is a reason that our national motto is: “In God We Trust.”



QuotaBills
The basis of optimism is sheer terror. - Oscar Wilde

Your life is a reflection of your thoughts. Think well. - Danielle Pierre

An optimist is simply a pessimist with no job experience. - Dilbert

Many an optimist has become rich by buying out a pessimist. - Robert G. Allen

Optimism doesn't wait on facts. It deals with prospects. - Norman Cousins

If Roosevelt were alive today, he'd turn over in his grave. - Samuel Goldwyn

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else. - Winston Churchill

An optimist is someone who gets treed by a lion but enjoys the scenery. - Walter Winchell

An optimist is a man who starts a crossword puzzle with a fountain pen. - Unknown

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist - except an old optimist. - Mark Twain

Being an optimist after you've got everything you want doesn't count. - Kin Hubbard

Optimism and self-pity are the positive and negative poles of modern cowardice. - Cyril Connolly

The visionary leader is an optimist, for no pessimist ever made a great leader. - William W Francis

No one is more liable to make mistakes than the man who acts only on reflection. - Vauvenargues

An optimist is a fellow who believes a housefly is looking for a way to get out. - George Jean Nathan

At the sum of all fears, the only thing that is painted... is a reflection of you. - Lionel Suggs

My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor. - Phyllis Diller

Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other. - Brian Tracy

Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other. - Brian Tracy

I believe any success in life is made by going into an area with a blind, furious optimism. - Sylvester Stallone

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence. - Helen Keller

I think of inspiration as desire infused with spirit and topped with an almost reckless optimism. - Fred White

In the long run, the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip. - Unknown

That the Pearl Harbor attack should have succeeded in achieving surprise seems a blessing from heaven. - Hideki Tojo

The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little. - Mark Twain

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. - Unknown

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. - Winston Churchill

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true. - James Branch Cabell

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead. - Robert Brault

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. - Bill Vaughan

In my last year of school, I was voted Class Optimist and Class Pessimist. Looking back, I realize I was only half right. - Jack Nicholson

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. - John Quincy Adams

If I advocate cautious optimism it is not because I do not have faith in the future but because I do not want to encourage blind faith. - Aung San Suu Kyi

Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It's huge and scary - it's an act of infinite optimism. - Gilda Radner

To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. - Unknown

Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Why do you Irish always answer a question with a question?",
New York Mayor Al Smith: "Do we now?" - Franklin D Roosevelt

If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism. - Oscar Wilde


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17-Oct-2019