…today’s secret…Pearl Harbor and you.

Today, 80 years ago. Japan attacked the United
States at its Hawaiian naval base, killing
2,400 people.

Hopefully, you were aware of this surprise air strike that brought us to war with Japan and Germany.

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know.

World War I (1914-1918) taught us the importance of air supremacy.

The WWI lesson was that dominant air power over an enemy would aid ground forces and reduce the carnage below.

To accomplish this for the future, Japan and Germany built only fighter planes, no bombers.

Their campaigns would be quick and decisive and leave the conquered territory pretty much the way it was so as to rule the people and exploit the resources.

At the beginning of the Second World War both Japan and Germany had secured air supremacy over the territory they wished to conquer.

Manchuria. China. Malaysia. Poland. Norway. Sweden. More.

The benefits supporting this strategy was that fuel, maintenance, airfields, etc. were all in close proximity of home base.

The downside was a premium on distance. Yes, it was difficult for Japan to launch 353 planes from four aircraft carriers 4,000 miles from home undetected.

Smart brains in the United States saw this ‘all-fighter- and-no-bomber’ strategy as early as 1935, a full seven years before we entered the war.

We began building a four-engine bomber in 1937 that could bomb the heart of an enemy’s industrial might before we even moved our naval base to Pearl Harbor in 1940.

‘On-the-job-learning’ began in earnest at Pearl Harbor in 1941 and by 1945 we had bombed both Japan and Germany into submission.

The war would not have ended in 45′ had not the United States done some serious strategic thinking back in the 30s.

By the end of 1944 we were turning out one B24 Liberator Bomber per hour at Willow Run, 20,000 total for the war effort.

How does this maybe help you?

December is a month of distraction on many fronts. It is also a good time to reflect on the future…not next month or next quarter…but next year…try and think two years ahead.

Sure you can.

Why are you here? Why do you do what you do? Where do you see yourself in the tomorrows? How do you define and measure success?

This is a good time to go off by yourself and ponder the days ahead.

But today, December 7th, be thankful for those who died at Pearl Harbor and at those little-known Pacific islands that gave us the life we have today.