Naval War College Review


Criticisms leveled at the Japanese for their “ill conceived” or “poorly planned” attack at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 have failed to consider the true depth of vision and professional intellect of its principal architect, Commander Minoru Genda.1 Charges of failure to execute follow-on attacks against the harbor facilities, if any such attacks were planned at all, or to exploit the immediate advantages created in the Central Pacific after the attack are commonly made by both academic and professional military scholars. Genda has suffered the brunt of this criticism. But in fact Genda’s plans were neither ill conceived nor poorly assembled—they were just not executed as originally envisioned.