At Dawn we slept

The 1982 Edition

The Untold story of Pearl Harbor by Gordon W. Prange

This monumental work is the classical reference for any study of the Dec, 7th 1941 attack. It presents the raid in the overall Political and Military situation of late 1941. 

The emphasis from the author is the view from the different Staffs. However the IJN Senior Officers testimonies should have been carefully examined as they are not exempt from bias. Pearl Harbor was presented as an extremely successful operation to the Emperor and the Japanese people and it is not easy to provide a different opinion.This book does not conduct a critical review of the Japanese plan, execution and results.

Similarly, the review of the US Army and US Navy at Pearl Harbor is also focused on the leadership and particularly Admiral Kimmel, analyzing whether he was responsible of the disastrous outcome or just a scapegoat. However this controversy on the demotion of the Navy Admiral is given a disproportionate historical importance.

We can summarize the blames for the Navy Command:

  • The lack of aerial reconnaissance
  • The lack of torpedo nets in the harbor 
  • The lack of cooperation with the Army (who owns what?)

It is interesting that the sanctions against the US Army Commander in Chief were less harsh despite more area of concerns:

  • The alert state of the Air Force
  • The lack of cooperation with the Navy
  • The mismanagement of Radar information
  • The readiness of Anti Aircraft assets
  • The over estimation of sabotage risks

But this controversy on the demotion of the Navy Admiral is given a disproportionate historical importance.

Link to the Editor’s page:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/323839/at-dawn-we-slept-by-gordon-w-prange/

Prange, Gordon W. (1981) At Dawn we slept: The untold story of Pearl Harbor. Penguin Books ISBN 0-1400-6455-9

Dec, 7th 1941 Pearl Harbor – Bibliography

Dull, Paul S. (1978) A Battle History of The Imperial Japanese Navy: (1941 – 1945). United States Naval Institute ISBN 0-87021-097-1

Ehrengardt, Christian-Jacques. (2016) 7 Décembre 1941Pearl Harbor: Une victoire sans lendemain. LOS! Hors-série n°13

Fuchida, Mitsuo Shinsato, T. Douglas and Urabe, Tadanori. (2020) For that one day: The memoirs of Mitsuo Fuchida Commander of the attack on Pearl Harbor.eXperience ISBN 0984674500

Kinsey, Bert and Roszak, Rock. (2018) Attack on Pearl Harbor: Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant. Detail and Scale Publishing ISBN 9781731132017

Prange, Gordon W. (1981) At Dawn we slept: The untold story of Pearl Harbor. Penguin Books ISBN 0-1400-6455-9

Skwiot, Miroslav and Jarski Adam. (2014) Kaga 1920 – 1942: The Japanese Aircraft Carrier. Kagero ISBN 978-83-64596-26-1 

Skwiot, Miroslav. (2015) Soryu and Hiryu: The Japanese Aircraft Carriers. Kagero ISBN 978-83-64596-52-0 

Stile, Mark E. (2011) Tora! Tora! Tora!: Pearl Harbor 1941. Osprey Publishing ISBN 978-1-84908-509-0

Stillwell, Paul. (1981) Air Raid: Pearl Harbor : Recollection of a day of Infamy. Naval Institute Press ISBN 0-87021-086-6

Werneth, Ron. (2008) Beyond Pearl Harbor, the untold story of Japan Naval Airmen. Schiffer Publishing Ltd ISBN 978-0-7643-2932-6

Willmott H.P. (2001) Pearl Harbor. Cassel ISBN978-0304358847

Zimm, Alan D. (2011) Attack on Pearl Harbor : Strategy, Combat, Myths, Deception. Casemate Publishers ISBN 978-1-61200-021-3