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Author Topic: Todays date in history  (Read 4675 times)

Tom Swearengen

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Todays date in history
« on: December 07, 2012, 11:13:13 AM »

Hello all. I'm quite sure that everyone on this forum is aware of this date in world history. Having thought about all the research that Tighar has done about Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, and their flight, we can only wonder if they had any affect on what transpired on thins date 71 years ago.
We know that the US wasnt in a position to fight Japan in 1937, but we also feared that Japan was fortifying the Marshalls for a possible jumping off point for her invasion plans.
So---Did AE figure into this? Deep down, maybe. At the time, probably not.
What IF she did have info on those islands that the US Govt could have used? Would Pearl Harbor have happened?
I dont think we'll ever know the answer that those questions, but is interesting to think about.

Tom
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Todays date in history
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 03:16:08 PM »

Yes, one of Histoy's big days and some writters make a nice living with their 'what if' historical novels.

For me the  answers NO AE was not on any mission, just trying to pull off another stunt.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Todays date in history
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 09:42:16 PM »

There is a short thread on the long odds against AE and FN collecting any information of any value to the U.S. after leaving Lae on 2 July 1937 at 10:00 AM local time.
LTM,

           Marty
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Todays date in history
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 06:06:45 AM »

I wasnt bringing up spy missions, or other theories. Wasnt even implying that the US govt wanted her, or someone else to go have a look around.
The fact was that AE was missing, and Capt. Thompson thought the most logical place to start looking was northwest of Howland. How he came to that conclusion could be a matter of debate. Yes, the Itasca was still a long way from the Marshalls in her search, but much closer. What do you think would have happened if the Navy HAD gone into the Marshalls looking for her? Might history be different?
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Todays date in history
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 10:14:19 AM »

What do you think would have happened if the Navy HAD gone into the Marshalls looking for her?

People would have questioned their sanity.  On what grounds would the Navy have gone to search inhabited territory?  What indication from the flight itself would have sent them that far away?  How could they have ignored the steadily-increasing signal strength which could only have come from the transmitter flying closer and closer to Howland?

Quote
Might history be different?

No.  Nothing in the Marshall Islands would have pointed to the attack on Pearl Harbor 4+ years later.  Yamamoto did not gain full approval for the attack until 1941.

Nothing in the Marshall Islands would have made the U.S. consider Japan more or less of a threat to peace.  Japan conquered Manchuria in 1931, Jehol in 1933, inner Mongolia in 1936, and invaded China on 7 July 1937.  That the Empire of Japan was militaristic and developed military installations in its territories would not have been a great shock to U.S. strategists.  That the Empire might object to a U.S. naval incursion into its territories would not help waken the sleeping giant.  That naval ships searching far away from where Amelia was reasonably understood to be might stumble across a military secret that would cause the U.S. to arm itself and go on the alert is not conceivable to me.

This is a "coulda, woulda, shoulda" argument.  I'm imagining what could or would have happened.  It is extremely difficult, if not logically impossible, to prove this kind of negative: "U.S. naval ships searching the Marshalls in 1937 would not have changed the history of WW2."  What would be required to make the case watertight is a complete set of aerial photographs of the whole of the Marshall islands that would enable us to see what the Navy could have seen after 2 July 1937.  Alternatively, a set of maps showing the actual dispositions of Japanese forces in the Marshalls would be helpful, if one trusted the source that produced the maps.  Only if there was something large and easily noticed from a distance would the naval ships have noticed it, become alarmed by it, and reported it to headquarters in such a way that the entire government would have been persuaded to invest in better defenses in 1937.  I have never seen such an analysis of what was visible in the Marshalls; the absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence, but I feel morally certain that the lack of such evidence in this case does mean that there was nothing to see in the Marshalls.

Your mileage may vary (YMMV).
LTM,

           Marty
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