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Held to a higher standard: the downfall of Admiral Kimmel

Author: Matthew R Pettinger
Publisher: Fort Leavenworth, KS: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College 2003
Dissertation: Thesis / Dissertation ETD
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : eBook
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel was relieved of command of the United States Pacific Fleet and forced into retirement. Eight official investigations were conducted to determine his accountability for the attack. These investigations produced mixed and often contradictory findings. Though he was never brought to court-martial, accusations of dereliction of duty damaged  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Textual
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Matthew R Pettinger
OCLC Number: 465214958
Notes: Master of Military Art and Science Theses

Abstract:

In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel was relieved of command of the United States Pacific Fleet and forced into retirement. Eight official investigations were conducted to determine his accountability for the attack. These investigations produced mixed and often contradictory findings. Though he was never brought to court-martial, accusations of dereliction of duty damaged his reputation considerably. Ultimately, he was one of only two World War Two flag officers not to be retired at the highest rank held during the war; the other was Lieutenant General Walter Short, the Army's Hawaiian commander at the time of the attack. In contrast, only nine hours after the Pearl Harbor attack, General Douglas MacArthur suffered a similar crushing surprise defeat in the Philippines despite his knowledge that the Japanese had initiated hostilities. Yet, he became a national war hero. The differing treatment accorded Admiral Kimmel compared to General MacArthur stands as a lesson on biased judgement. Today, military commanders in the Global War on Terrorism may find themselves in circumstances similar to either of these two commanders. Knowledge of their situations may help today's commanders avoid similar pitfalls, or may prevent comparable unbalanced treatment.

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