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Day of Lightning, Years of Scorn – Book

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Day of Lightning, Years of Scorn Walter C. Short and the Attack on Pearl Harbor by Charles R. Anderson

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Walter C. Short is remembered as the US Army general who parked his aircraft wing-tip to wing-tip, making them easy targets for Japanese pilots attacking Hawaii on 7 December 1941. Posterity has dealt him and his Navy counterpart, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, a harsh indictment, presenting them as either fools or scapegoats for Washington officials attempting to hide their own errors. In this long-overdue biography, Short emerges as an honourable yet flawed man. Charles Anderson’s balanced portrayal acknowledges that Short bore responsibility for certain charges made against him, but it also provides ample evidence that his superiors worked hard to blame him and Kimmel as a way of abnegating their own culpability. It also offers readers a new understanding of the larger issues involved. A single day undid an exceptional career, but it did not undo Short’s personal sense of dignity, honesty and loyalty to the institutions and leaders who were partly responsible for the debacle. This biography is published in co-operation with the Association of the United States Army.

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