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From: Mac McIntosh <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: The Pacific and Racism Date: March 17, 2010 4:36:42 PM EDT To: email@example.com Cc: H-NET Military History Discussion List <firstname.lastname@example.org> What has always bothered me the most about this issue is just how many American and allied lives did institutional racism cost ? For example : Japan had a war strategy that called for engaging enemy forces outside of normal gunnery ranges. To this end by 1933 the Japanese had an operational 24 inch long range torpedo with a range of 24 miles at 39 knots or 12 miles at 49 knots. American torpedoes in 1941 were 21 inch models that had a range of only 4,500 yards. Agents reporting to the Navy attaché's office reported fully on the Japanese technological advantages of their torpedo. The Office of Naval Intelligence passed on the reports to the Navy's Bureau of Ordinance . They replied : " no torpedo could travel at such speed over that range" . This judgment was primarily based on nationalistic technical arrogance and presumed racial superiority. The same was true regarding the ZERO fighter plane . The Zero (Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero ) was used in the Japanese offensive in China which began in 1937 . U.S. Military officers sent in many reports on Japans Air capabilities. The reports were rountinely either ignored or ridiculed. In early 1941 a Tokyo based attache , Stephen Jurika was able to climb into the covkpit of a Zero at a Japanese Air Show . He sent into to ONI the data from the cockpit data plate -- which again was dismissed as obviously inaccurate. These assessments were obviously seriously affected by racial sterotypes. Not only as to the disbelief of the technical data readily available on the Zero but there was an even more damaging widely held sterotype mide set held that Japanese pilots being physically incapable of rigorous combat flying. Claire Chennault sent in detailed drawings and specifications for the Mitsubishi A5M in 1938 . Shortly later he actually flew a Japanese Nakajima Ki-27b (Nate) fighter that had been captured intact. Channault sent in reports to the War Office saying that Japan had a fighter that " climbs like a sky-rocket and maneuvers like a squirrel." These reports also fell victim to racial mindsets. I am sure there are many more examples. A good essay on this issue is Lieutenant Commander Ralph Lee DeFalco.III's : Blind to the Sun : U.S. Intelligence Failures Before the War with Japan . Walter James McIntosh Bluff, New Zealand ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----