In this Book

December 8, 1941
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summary
Ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, “another Pearl Harbor” of even more devastating consequence for American arms occurred in the Philippines, 4,500 miles to the west. On December 8, 1941, at 12.35 p.m., 196 Japanese Navy bombers and fighters crippled the largest force of B-17 four-engine bombers outside the United States and also decimated their protective P-40 interceptors. The sudden blow allowed the Japanese to rule the skies over the Philippines, removing the only effective barrier that stood between them and their conquest of Southeast Asia. This event has been called “one of the blackest days in American military history.” How could the army commander in the Philippines—the renowned Lt. Gen. Douglas MacArthur—have been caught with all his planes on the ground when he had been alerted in the small hours of that morning of the Pearl Harbor attack and warned of the likelihood of a Japanese strike on his forces? In this book, author William H. Bartsch attempts to answer this and other related questions. Bartsch draws upon twenty-five years of research into American and Japanese records and interviews with many of the participants themselves, particularly survivors of the actual attack on Clark and Iba air bases. The dramatic and detailed coverage of the attack is preceded by an account of the hurried American build-up of air power in the Philippines after July, 1941, and of Japanese planning and preparations for this opening assault of its Southern Operations.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. 3-6
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. 7-9
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 11-14
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  1. Prologue: “Seize This Golden Opportunity!”
  2. pp. 15-32
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  1. Part 1: “By God, It Is Destiny That Brings Me Here!”
  2. pp. 33-44
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  1. Chapter 1: “They Have Really Ripped the 17th All to Hell”
  2. pp. 45-60
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  1. Chapter 2: “A Troop of Boy Scouts Flying Kites Could Take These Damned Islands”
  2. pp. 61-69
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  1. Chapter 3: “They Will Be Shot Down as Fast as They Are Put in the Air”
  2. pp. 70-90
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  1. Part 2: “If We Make Our Attack Now, the War is Not Hopeless”
  2. pp. 91-105
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  1. Chapter 4: “Why Send Over These Ninety-Day Wonders?”
  2. pp. 106-129
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  1. Chapter 5: “The Creation of the Five-Engine Bomber Has Completely Changed the Strategy in the Pacific”
  2. pp. 130-152
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  1. Chapter 6: “Feasibility of Direct Attack on Luzon in the Philippines”
  2. pp. 153-178
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  1. Part 3: “The Inability of an Enemy to Launch his Air Attack on These Islands Is Our Greatest Security”
  2. pp. 179-196
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  1. Chapter 7: “We Are Going Much Too Far on the Offensive Side”
  2. pp. 197-236
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  1. Chapter 8: “Struck by Its Resemblance to a Railroad Timetable”
  2. pp. 237-254
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  1. Part 4: “I Shall Die Only for the Emperor, I Shall Never Look Back”
  2. pp. 255-263
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  1. Chapter 9: “What a Fog!”
  2. pp. 264-290
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  1. Chapter 10: “Go Get ’Em!”
  2. pp. 291-310
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  1. Chapter 11: “Navy, Hell, It’s the Japs!”
  2. pp. 311-340
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  1. Chapter 12: “Whatever You Do, Don’t Get under the Damned Truck!”
  2. pp. 341-357
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  1. Chapter 13: “All We’ve Got Left Is the Key to the Airplane”
  2. pp. 358-381
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  1. Chapter 14: “What Is the Matter with the Enemy?”
  2. pp. 382-408
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 409-424
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  1. Appendix A
  2. p. 425
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  1. Appendix B
  2. p. 426
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  1. Appendix C
  2. p. 427
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  1. Appendix D
  2. pp. 428-429
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  1. Appendix E
  2. pp. 430-431
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  1. Appendix F
  2. pp. 432-434
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  1. Appendix G
  2. pp. 435-438
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  1. Appendix H
  2. pp. 439-441
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  1. Appendix I
  2. p. 442
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  1. Appendix J
  2. pp. 443-444
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 445-504
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  1. Sources
  2. pp. 505-531
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 531-557
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