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This is the fourth in an ongoing series of posts on real-life Monuments Men by Dr. Greg Bradsher. See also his posts on Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, Walter J. Huchthausen, and Seymour J. Pomrenze.
The forthcoming movie, The Monuments Men, has focused great attention on the Monuments Men (and women) and their work during and after World War II. Of course the movie cannot tell the story of the over 300 individuals involved in Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFA&A) work, so focuses on three: George Stout, James Rorimer, and Rose Valland, played by George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett respectively. Over the course of the next two months, I thought it would be illustrative to discuss some of the lesser known individuals.
This post focuses on the first American Monuments Men in the field, Mason Hammond. This is the fourth in the series of blogs on the Monuments Men.
Mason Hammond, born in 1903, graduated from Harvard in 1925. He then studied at Oxford University, receiving an A. B. degree in 1927 and a B.Litt. degree in 1930. He returned to Harvard to teach Latin, Greek, and History. In 1932 he received his master’s degree from Harvard and served as Professor in Charge of Classical Studies at the American Academy in Rome from 1937 to 1939. He entered military service in 1942.
During the spring of 1943 discussion within the military civil affairs authorities led to the creation of the Office of Adviser on Fine Arts and Monuments to the Chief of Civil Affairs at the headquarters of Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories (AMGOT). The initial T/O [Table of Organization] called for a Lt. Col. and Major. On May 13 General Marshall cabled General Eisenhower that for the protection of arts and monuments, the American major position was to be filled by Capt. Mason Hammond and that the British agreed to assign a British captain under Hammond. Hammond was transferred from Air Force Headquarters Washington A-2, Current Intelligence Section on May 21 and sent by air to Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ). He reported for duty at Chrea, Algeria, on June 7.
At Chrea and at Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, Hammond acted in the various capacities of student, teacher, and planner. Three days after arriving at Chrea he produced “Brief Notes for Civil Affairs Officers on the Protection and Care of Monuments, Historic Buildings, Works of Art, etc. in Occupied Areas.” Later in June Hammond drafted for General Administrative Instruction No. 8 on the same subject for the AMGOT Handbook for the guidance of AMGOT Civil Affairs Officers participating in the first phase of operations.
While in North Africa Hammond encountered difficulties in actually making inspections of cultural property, primarily because of lack of transportation, but he did make some inspections and acquired information, which he reported back to the United States, where he requested it be shared with relevant military and civilian organizations and individuals.
For the pending invasion of Sicily Hammond prepared a very brief “Art History of Sicily” and a list of certain sites which seemed important. These he was not allowed to reproduce and distribute on account of security. So Hammond advised all men with whom he talked, to secure local guides, or the standard guides, or to find out from local authorities, what monuments were in their districts, and to ensure their protection.
The invasion of Sicily took place on July 10. But Hammond was not part of the invasion force. Because of limitations of transportation, he was not moved forward with the AMGOT Headquarters and, and for weeks, was completely cut off. The effectiveness of the protection rests, therefore, Hammond wrote a colleague on July 24, wholly in the hands of the Civil Affairs Officers attached to task forces-who had a great deal else to think about. In terms of bombing the island he hoped there would be little damage, and that it would not lead to serious deterioration through any delay in getting attention. “And,” he added, “one can only hope that unsettled conditions will not lead to thievery, souvenir collecting, etc. by either inhabitants or troops.”
On July 27 Hammond preceded by air from AFHQ via Tunis to Syracuse, reporting for duty at AMGOT Advanced Headquarters at Syracuse, on July 29. Several days later Hammond wrote the Chief Civil Affairs Officer regarding the damage done by troops in the Syracuse area and requested transportation, because he was dependent “on chances of travel with others, which binds me to their route and their disposition of time.” On August 3 Hammond proceeded as part of the Headquarters convoy to Palermo.
From August 4 until September 10 he was tied to Palermo for a number of reasons: lack of other personnel, lack of transport, and the pressure of work. While at Palermo Hammond produced reports about the situation and in mid-September he produced a paper entitled “Suggestions to SCAO’s and CAO’s [Senior Civil Affairs Officers and Civil Affairs Officers] for the handling of questions relative to Monuments and Fine Arts in Sicily.”
Analyzing his work on Sicily, Robert M. Edsel in his Saving Italy, observed that: “Hammond assessed damage to monuments, effected temporary repairs where possible, got superintendents and other local museum and church officials back to work, and cut down on billeting problems by well-intended troops seeking shelter. His work in the field proved the job could be done.” “Serving as the guinea pig for the Monuments officers,” Edsel added, became Hammond’s enduring legacy. Each miscue provided invaluable information about what to do differently once Allied forces reached the Italian mainland and began the push northward.”
Following the Italian surrender in September 1943, AMGOT was abolished, and a new Sub-Commission on Fine Arts and Monuments was created within Headquarters Allied Military Government. In late November, the Sub-Commission was renamed Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives.
During the fall of 1943 Hammond would be joined by other MFA&A personnel and they tackled the difficult problems associated with protecting cultural property in a war-torn country. One of his new colleagues was Maj. Theodore Sizer, formerly director of the Art Gallery and professor of the History of Art at Yale University. In November, soon after arriving at Sicily Sizer wrote “Everything worthwhile has been already magnificently accomplished by Mason Hammond.” Hammond’s hard work took its toll on him. On December 2 Sizer wrote a mutual friend, that “M. H. literally worked himself to death & has been in the hospital [in Palermo] the past 10 days-out soon.”
Hammond would leave the hospital and continue his MFA&A work in Italy, serving with the 15th Army Group in Naples. Early in 1944, he was transferred to England, where he was assigned to the section responsible for planning MFA&A activities in Germany. He would subsequently serve in MFA&A supervisory positions in France and Germany, including heading the MFA&A Branch of the United States Group Control Council. For his work in the MFA&A, he was promoted to major and then lieutenant colonel and received honors from the Italian and Dutch governments, as well as the French Legion of Honor. He would leave military service in 1946, and return to his teaching and writing careers. He would pass away in 2002 at age ninety-nine.
Hammond’s early career can be followed in the Subject File Aug 1943-1945, Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section, Operations Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331; Security Classified General Correspondence, 1943-July 1949, General Records, Civil Affairs Division, Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165.
The exploits of Hammond, Sizer, and other MFA&A personnel in Italy are detailed in Robert M. Edsel, Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis (New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013).
TAGS 15th Army Group
, Art History of Sicily
, Civil Affairs Officers
, looted art
, Mason Hammond
, Monuments Men
, North Africa
, Robert M. Edsel
, Saving Italy
, Theodore Sizer
, Tizi Ouzou
Today’s post is written by Cody White, an archivist at the National Archives at Denver
Christmas is often a time for charity, the bringing of holiday cheer to those less fortunate, and one such heartwarming tale can be found at the National Archives at Denver in the most unlikely of record groups; RG 77 Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers. Found amongst the series of engineering maps, drawings, survey notebooks, and construction files from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is one series simply entitled “Installation Historical Files, 1946-1977.” Comprised of two scrapbooks, this series documents the Albuquerque, New Mexico chapter of the U.S. Corps of Engineers Wives Club and their service to the community, especially around Christmas 1950.
Founded in 1946 by 32 charter members, we learn from the scrapbooks filled with photographs, event flyers, and newspaper clippings that from the group’s inception, the women focused on charitable contributions within the community. It wasn’t, however, until 1950 that the Santa Claus Shop was created and in turn seems to have become an enormous success.
With the concept first originating in Denver, the wives club brought to Albuquerque the idea of a place where down-on-their-luck parents could “buy” Christmas gifts for their children. These toys came from a variety of sources such as toy drives across the city where residents could donate new or broken toys to be fixed, from local businesses who donated new or returned toys, and even from the women themselves who made mittens, dolls, and stuffed animals. The club members’ husbands, all Army Corps of Engineers personnel, also helped. On Sunday mornings a government truck was borrowed to make the rounds and collect donations. One particular Army officer even made 31 stick horses to donate while a group of U.S. Navy Seabees, probably more accustomed to constructing Marine airfields and bases, spent several nights welding and painting old tricycles. Within no time it was reported that the chairwoman’s garage was full and so the use of a high profile vacant store was donated to them for the season.
Club members: (From left to right) Dorothy Yelinak, Civic Affairs Chair; Jean Tippen; Nelda Raper, Co-Chair; and Paulina McCreary.
Eligible parents were given vouchers in relation to how many children they had and when the Santa Claus Shop opened they were able to use those vouchers to “buy” gifts. One particularly grateful parent reportedly told welfare department caseworkers that this was the “first time they had actually been able to shop for toys for their children.”
Santa Claus Shop open house, December 19, 1950. At left, Mr. and Mrs. L.G. Bradley.
The Santa Claus Shop was reprised in 1951, this time with help from the Lions Club and Albuquerque Fire Department, but nothing is reflected in the scrapbooks after that. Regardless, for at least two years thousands of Albuquerque area sons and daughters awoke Christmas morning to gifts under the tree, all thanks to the efforts of the Albuquerque U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wives Club.
Santa Claus Shop open house, December 19, 1950. W.R. Taubet’s daughters.
All documents referenced, photographs, and quotes come from RG 077 Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, accession NRG-077-09-048 “Installation Historical Files, 1946-1977,” Box 1, NARA identifier 4527081.
, Cody White
, National Archives at Denver
, Office of the Chief of Engineers
, RG 77
, Santa Claus
, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
, U.S. Navy
, Wives Club
This is the third in an ongoing series of posts on real-life Monuments Men by Dr. Greg Bradsher. See also his posts on Sir Charles Leonard Woolley and Walter J. Huchthausen.
The forthcoming movie, The Monuments Men, has focused great attention on the Monuments Men (and women) and their work during and after World War II. Of course the movie cannot tell the story of the over 300 individuals involved in Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFA&A) work, so it focuses on three: George Stout, James Rorimer, and Rose Valland, played by George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett, respectively. Over the course of the next two months, I thought it would be illustrative to discuss some of the lesser known individuals.
This post focuses on one of the Monuments Men who was a National Archives archivist, Seymour J. Pomrenze. This is the third in a series of blogs on the Monuments Men.
Several years back Seymour J. Pomrenze called me to discuss some reports he made at the Offenbach Archival Depot in Germany in 1946. During the course of our conversation he asked me whether he had done a good job. Assuming correctly that he was referring to his tenure as the depot’s first director, I said “Colonel Pomrenze, given the trying circumstances under which you labored, you did a most admirable job.” I then informed him about National Archives Microfilm Publication M1942, Records Concerning the Central Collecting Points (“Ardelia Hall Collection”): Offenbach Archival Depot, 1946-1951, which consists of 13 microfilm rolls documenting the four years of operations of the depot, during which time it handled some 2.5 million items of cultural property. He seemed pleased with what I had said, and we continued having a nice chat.
I regret now not having taken the time to ask him a bunch of questions about his career. But fortunately, many questions I would have wanted to ask are documented in the holdings of the National Archives and his papers at the American Jewish Historical Society.
Sholom (Seymour) Jacob Pomrenze was born in Brusilov, Ukraine on September 1, 1916. His father was killed during the 1919 pogroms, and he and his older brother came with their mother to the United States. A three-year journey took them to Chicago, where many extended family members had settled. Pomrenze, naturalized in 1937, received a Masters degree in history at the University of Chicago, and began working toward a doctorate in Jewish history. During 1940-1941, he served as the supervisor of the Works Progress Administration historic records survey in Chicago. From July 1941 to May 1942, he took a job at the National Archives as a reference assistant. Then he joined the United States Army. From 1944 to 1945 he served with the Office of Strategic Services in the China-Burma Theater.
In December 1945, the Archivist of the United States asked Pomrenze to go to Europe and help reorganize German archives. He took a position as a military archivist with Office of Military Government, Wurttemberg-Baden, and began surveying the archival situation. On January 15, 1946, after several weeks of surveying German archives he wrote to Oliver W. Holmes at the National Archives that he was encountering difficult challenges. “But one must fight to attain anything worthwhile and I am not discouraged—yet.”
While Pomrenze was undertaking his survey a situation developed that would lead to Offenbach and a new duty. This situation had its origins, according to Pomrenze, as a result of the fact that the collections of books, archives, and Jewish items, which were, since the autumn of 1945, housed partly at the Rothschild Library Building in Frankfurt and partly at a building within the IG Farben manufacturing plant in Offenbach, had been neglected by the officers responsible for the two facilities. He placed part of the blame on the fact that these officers were bewildered by the mass of books in all European languages, most of which they could not read. According to Pomrenze, because of the neglect, the books deteriorated more and more and a thousand Jewish scrolls of law (Torah scrolls) were “miserably neglected; religious items were allowed to lie around the floor and open shelves.”
The whole thing, Pomrenze wrote, blew up in the face of the MFA&A people when General Lucius Clay ordered a loan of 25,000 unidentifiable and not valuable Hewbrew, Yiddish and other language books made available to the American Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC). For a month practically nothing was done since nobody could come and inspect the items.
Meanwhile the AJDC representative in Germany persuaded the occupation authorities to appoint an MFA&A officer to be responsible for the task of establishing a collecting point at Offenbach that would house looted and German-owned libraries, archives, and Jewish cultural and religious items. Paul Vanderbilt, Technical Advisor, MFA&A Section, Headquarters, United States Forces European Theater, Office of Military Government OMG (U.S. Zone) was assigned to get the project off the ground and find a director for that job.
It appeared that Pomrenze had the all the prerequisites considered necessary for handling the Jewish materials, as well the hundreds of collections of books and archives. After all, in addition to possessing archival experience, Pomrenze was a student of Hebrew and Jewish lore and knew German, Hebrew, and Yiddish.
Pomrenze was not thrilled with the possible assignment. He wrote a personal letter to Holmes at the National Archives on February 23, in which, after explaining his survey work in Wurttemberg-Baden, he wrote that there was:
…pressure from the boys in Land Greater Hesse (the fine arts people) to make me the Director of the Offenbach library collection. These people refuse to consider any difference between a librarian and an archivist; furthermore the Offenbach job needs a good storage and quartermaster officer. Well I am trying to fight it and I think that Paul [Vanderbilt] and the others will help me-but I may get stuck with it and then I am lost to the Archives people since the whole Offenbach institution has no archives in it at all and all the effort to get me here for an archival job, on your part and the part of the Archives people here, will be lost. But such is life and one must make the best of a situation.
Pomrenze was appointed as the first head of what would be eventually named the Offenbach Archival Depot (OAD), and he departed for his new assignment on February 26. Upon arriving in Offenbach, Pomrenze was struck with the enormity of the job. On March 13, in a personal letter to Holmes at the National Archives, he wrote that he found upon arriving that for the past eight months, “huge, ill-assorted, piles upon piles of books and other library materials have been found in the Frankfurt vicinity until we now have 5 floors of a building [initially termed the Offenbach Central Collecting Point] a half a city block long of boxes and loose stacks of about 2 to 3 million books.”
After describing his work in getting the building in suitable storage condition and describing his work of getting a handle on the mass of material, he wrote Holmes, “All I can say is that this is one of the nastiest assignments I have ever had and in a way will, I hope, be one of the most soul-satisfying when I clean the place up — but mind you it is a library problem and do not let the name Archival Depot fool you.”
On March 22 Pomrenze wrote Holmes again, reporting that “production at this place is moving along rapidly.” He added, “as you know it is quite a job to administer such an institution—especially when one is the only American who can get other American outfits to do anything for us.”
One part of Pomrenze’s responsibilities, a major one, was restitution. The Offenbach Archival Depot was declared a first priority for MFA&A restitution efforts and thus became a first priority for him, and he immediately set about establishing procedures for accomplishing that task. The first restitution was made on March 12 when 371 crates of material departed for the Netherlands on a Dutch barge. During March the depot shipped out 242,840 items. The restitution effort continued in April. On April 6, nine railroad freight cars departed for France. A second Dutch barge left the OAD on April 11 loaded with Dutch and Belgian material. Capt. Isaac Bencowitz, who would become the second director, arrived at the OAD on April 13.
Pomrenze would leave the OAD at the end of April and return to the United States on May 8. He was discharged from the Army in June.
During 1947 throug 1949, Pomrenze worked as a consultant with the National Archives, and then in 1950 joined the Departmental Records Branch of the Army’s Adjutant General’s Office. During the next 26 years he worked for the Army as a records manager. Although a civilian for most his army career, he returned to active duty when he visited Vietnam in 1970 though 1971. At retirement, he was a Colonel and Archivist of the Army.
He received the 2007 National Humanities Award from President George Bush in the White House for his part in rescuing important materials, documents, Torah Scrolls and works of art looted by the Nazis across Europe and restoring them to their rightful owners. He would pass away in 2011.
TAGS Adjutant General's Office
, American Jewish Historical Society
, American Joint Distribution Committee
, Ardelia Hall Collection
, Departmental Records Branch
, General Lucius Clay
, Greg Bradsher
, IG Farben
, Isaac Bencowitz
, looted art
, Monuments Men
, Offenbach Archival Depot
, Office of Military Government
, Office of Strategic Services
, Oliver W. Holmes
, Paul Vanderbilt
, Rothschild Library Building
, Seymour Pomrenze
, Works Progress Administration
This is the second in a series of posts about real-life Monuments Men by Dr. Greg Bradsher. See also his post on Sir Charles Leonard Woolley.
The forthcoming movie The Monuments Men has focused great attention on the Monuments Men (and women) and their work during and after World War II. Of course the movie cannot tell the story of the over 300 individuals involved in Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFA&A) work, so it focuses on three: George Stout, James Rorimer, and Rose Valland, played by George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchet,t respectively. Over the course of the next two months, I thought it would be illustrative to discuss some of the lesser known individuals. This post focuses on one of the American Monuments Men who was killed in action: Walter J. Huchthausen.
Born in Perry, Oklahoma, on December 19, 1904, Huchthausen attended the University of Minnesota and Harvard University, where he earned a Master of Architecture degree in 1930. He was an instructor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and then director of the Department of Design at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts from 1935 to 1939. He then joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota where he taught until his enlistment in 1942.
Early in August 1944 Lt. Col. Geoffrey Webb, in charge of MFA&A operations wrote to the SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces) G-5 Operations Branch stating that Huchthausen, then serving with 3rd ECA [European Civil Affairs] Regiment, was an architect trained partly in United States and partly in Germany. His German, Webb wrote, was said to be first class and he had had considerable experience in German museums. Webb wrote that he seemed very qualified for MFA&A duties and requested he be assigned to that duty. Eventually this request was granted and by the fall Huchthausen would be serving in France as a Monuments Man.
Huchthausen was ordered on December 9, 1944, to report to the Ninth Army for duty as MFA&A Officer. During most of January 1945, he spent in Aachen helping to recover and protect cultural property, both looted and German-owned. He was soon assigned Sheldon W. Keck, former Brooklyn Museum of Art conservator, as his assistant. The two slogged their way into Germany with the Ninth Army during the winter of 1945, crossing the Rhine in the latter part of March and then striking east around the north of the Ruhr.
On the afternoon of April 2, Huchthausen and Keck were north of Essen and east of Aachen, (north of the Rhur Pocket), caught by German machine gun fire while on their way to answer an urgent call from the XIX Corps G-5 Staff in whose area an important find of art treasures had been made. Keck escaped unharmed, but Huchthausen was hit in the head by the fire and died.
Huchthausen would be buried at the United States Military Cemetery at Margraten, in the southeastern part of the Netherlands.
David Finley, with the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas (The Roberts Commission), sent a letter of condolence to Huchthausen’s family. In it he wrote:
The American Commission has learned with the deepest regret of the death of your son Captain Walter Huchthausen. Captain Huchthausen was, in the opinion of this Commission, one of the outstanding Monuments Officers in the field, and his work in the Valley of the Loire and at Aachen will remain as a signal contribution to the cultural preservation of Europe. His knowledge of Germany made him uniquely fitted for the work there and his loss is an irreparable one.
On June 6, 2007, both houses of Congress passed resolutions officially acknowledging for the first time the contributions of the Monuments Men. The following day, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) praised the passage by Unanimous Consent of his resolution (S.Res.223) honoring the efforts and contributions of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program. “It is in large part due to the tireless efforts of the brave American men and women who served as Monuments Men that over 5 million works of art and other cultural treasures were protected and preserved following the collapse of the Nazi regime,” Sen. Inhofe said. “I am proud that the Monuments Men have finally been recognized for their invaluable service.” In the course of his statement, Senator Inhofe singled out Walter J. Huchthausen, a fellow Oklahoman.
For more information on Huchthausen’s MFA&A activities see the Security Classified General Correspondence, 1943-July 1949, General Records, Civil Affairs Division, Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165 and the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section, Operations Branch, G-5 Division, General Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.
TAGS American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas
, David Finley
, Geoffrey Webb
, Greg Bradsher
, looted art
, Monuments Men
, RG 165
, RG 331
, Rhur Pocket
, Roberts Commission
, Senator Jim Inhofe
, Sheldon Keck
, United States Military Cemetery
, Walter J. Huchthausen
Today’s blogger is Stephanie Stork, a summer 2013 intern in the Archives I Reference and Processing Sections who worked with Navy records.
Working at the National Archives this past summer as an intern with the Old Navy/Maritime Reference staff allowed me to work with an array of exciting documents, which I’ve come to appreciate as artifacts of their own time. One of the projects included writing an enhanced descriptive aid of the Division of Naval Intelligence Administrative Files 1927-1944 (RG 38, entry 85). It was with this series that I wished for a time machine, especially in the specific case of two files spanning 1928-1933. I wanted those involved to know, like myself, what the future would bring, specifically the events of December 7, 1941.
The first file (see 8 images under “Fukunaga File” below) is comprised of correspondence from 1933 and 1934 between the Director of Naval Intelligence and Lieutenant H.L. Spain of the U.S. Naval Reserve, who took it upon himself to send a letter to the department with an attached newspaper article entitled “U.S. Customs Seize Cargo of Japanese ‘Fake War’ Books.” This article, which appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser on December 14, 1933, chronicled Honolulu Customs’ seizure of copies of a Japanese book of fiction authored by Lt. Commodore K. Fukunaga of the Japanese Naval Reserves, entitled, An Account of the Future War Between Japan and the United States. As the Honolulu Advertiser reported, this work of fiction set its storyline along the idea of a future war between the United States and Japan in 1936, in which a Japanese fleet surrounds the island of Oahu and captures Hawaii. The article reported that in Fukunaga’s book, “American cruisers and warships are described in great detail throughout the yarn and are properly named,” and that, “One incident related tells of a Japanese submarine which was dispatched to lay mines at the entrance to Pearl Harbor, but which fails to return.” The news article then moves on to mention the book’s emphasis on airplane bombings, and that “Later on the opinion is expressed that the enemy fleet has been sunk…”,
Another document (from a second file, see images under “Ishimura File” below) I came across in the same archival box is a letter addressed to the Secretary of the Navy from a Mr. Ralph B. Mazar. This letter, forwarded to the Navy Department on December 12, 1941, included Mazar’s translations of a select number of paragraph’s from a Japanese publication issued in 1928 entitled War Is Inevitable. This publication, bearing the imprimatur of the emperor and authored decades earlier by Commander Toto Ishimura, notably mentioned resentment towards the United States, and stated “Surprise will be the keynote of our initial attack. Fabian tactics will be our naval guide. In the opening hours of the War the Japanese Navy will sink and disable a goodly number of American warships.” Mazar went on to note that the book had a “Mein Kampfian touch” to it, and that Ishimura wrote “Within seventy-two hours after our first surprise attack, half of the American Fleet will be sunk or crippled, army and navy personnel will be demoralized, population of the United States will be stunned.”
There is no crystal ball in which one can tell the future. Judging past actions with knowledge from the present is unfair, but there are times when one cannot help but look back in history and wish that those in the past could have known what future decades would bring.
Note: All documents from each file have been posted with this blog for context and researcher convenience.
References: RG 38, Division of Naval Intelligence Administrative Files 1927-1944, Box 35. File: A7-1/OQ/Fukunaga, Kyosuki
Fukunaga File Page 1
Fukunaga File Page 2
Fukunaga File Page 3
Fukunaga File Page 4
Fukunaga File Page 5
Fukunaga File Page 6
Fukunaga File Page 7
Fukunaga File Page 8
RG 38, Division of Naval Intelligence Administrative Files 1927-1944, Box 35. File: A7-1/OQ/Ishimura, Toto (1941)
Ishimura File Page 1
Ishimura File Page 2
Ishimura File Page 3
Ishimura File Page 4