Friday, December 07, 2007

Set Yoke Throughout

One could argue that the US entered World War II on this day at the moment the Pittsburgh-built Westinghouse SCR-270 Radar first detected the incoming wave of aircraft approaching Pearl Harbor only to be told "don't worry about it". The testing for the new radar system was done years earlier detecting the approach of cars on what must have been route 30 through East Pittsburgh.

But given all of our increasing obsession with collecting data and measuring everything... the morning of Pearl Harbor points out pretty clearly that often we have have all the data we need... believing that data and doing something with it is another thing altogether. Given just a half hour of warning, the US Pacific fleet could have had its battle stations manned and watertight doors closed. It is not inconceivable that history would have recorded the Pearl Harbor attack as a colossal failure for the Japanese. What that counterfactual history would have meant for the history of WWII????

The PG has a story today on some local audio recordings made of radio news that came out. The links that the story references are on this page:

http://www.umkc.edu/lib/spec-col/ww2/PearlHarbor/ph-txt.htm

Some of the Pittsburgh specific recordings on that page are:

Broadcast #3 This bulletin from Honolulu, heard over WCAE (Pittsburgh, PA) at 4:15 p.m. Eastern time, offers the first direct-contact report from Hawaii.
Broadcast #4 Stating that "Japan has drawn first blood," this colorful report from Pittsburgh radio station WCAE describes Roosevelt's responses, and mirrors the stunned response of an unsuspecting country.
Broadcast #7 This newscast, heard over KDKA (Pittsburgh) at 4:30 p.m. eastern time, announces the immediate alert against both espionage and Japanese Americans, who were, according to the report, equally surprised and shocked by the attacks. and
Broadcast #11By the time this broadcast was heard over Pittsburgh's KDKA at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, the nation was already on high alert against sabotage.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ms. Monongahela, Ms. Chief Editor said...

Great stuff! Thanks for making it easy and doing the homework!

Friday, December 07, 2007 9:06:00 AM  
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