I just want to finish this thread mentioning a related issue which I didn't bear in mind in my first post. It is about "decissions" and "calculations"
When I read the book by Sloan, I appreciated the author's effort to reconstruct the actual facts by studying a lot of sources, and particulary the survivors' visions on the event, although there was an important gap or bias in terms of time. The author proposes a different interpretation of the situation in those days, suggesting in the epilogue that there was a real possibility of victory in Wake, despite the objective superiority of the invaders, following the survivors' explanations.
I mentioned that there were a chain of random events which could have modified the final result of the battle, at least for a short period of time. But, if you review all the chain of facts, you can see that we face indeed an accumulated series of decissions, based on certain calculations and information available in a precise moment. So, if you put together all these decissions, there is little room for pure chance. Since admiral Kimmel, who wanted to defend Wake with all means, lost his command after Pearl Harbor, the new command officers were not keen to risk valuable forces for an uncertain defense of the island. The author considers that Cunningham's radio message could have been the final nail on the coffin for the marines, but I think it really didn't have a great impact on the battle itself. There was a previous decission and a strategic calculation which had a critical influence on the following events and, once taken, nothing would have changed dramatically the actual outcome.
From this point of view, "alea iacta est" (as Caesar said), it's only the mininum influence of details after a strategic decission and calculation.
|Battle of Wake, 1941: an alternative history episode||927||Titus Livius||02-Apr-11 12:19|
|Re: Battle of Wake, 1941: an alternative history episode||393||Avatar||02-Apr-11 14:49|
|Re: Battle of Wake, 1941: an alternative history episode||380||Hoppy||02-Apr-11 15:17|
|Re: Battle of Wake, 1941: an alternative history episode||273||Titus Livius||02-Apr-11 16:40|
|Re: Battle of Wake, 1941: an alternative history episode||364||Eddie Larry||02-Apr-11 15:18|
|Re: Battle of Wake, 1941: an alternative history episode||291||Titus Livius||02-Apr-11 16:22|
|Re: Japan - missed opportunities||383||Thunderbird||03-Apr-11 04:53|
|Re: Japan - missed opportunities||318||Titus Livius||03-Apr-11 09:38|
|Re: Japan - missed opportunities||260||Thunderbird||04-Apr-11 04:32|
|Re: Japan - missed opportunities||294||Titus Livius||04-Apr-11 08:43|
|A few final thoughts||288||Titus Livius||05-Apr-11 10:54|
|Re: Battle of Wake, 1941: an alternative history episode||571||Pete Vanderzwet||05-Apr-11 14:26|