From “Reflections on Pearl Harbor” by Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Sunday, December 7th, 1941—

Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a
 concert in Washington D.C.

 He was paged and told there was a phone call for him.

 When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano

 He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the
 Commander of the Pacific Fleet.

Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the
 Pacific Fleet.

 He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941.

 There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and
 Defeat — you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.

On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of
 the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

 Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters
 everywhere you looked.

 As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the
 boat asked, “Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this

Admiral Nimitz’s reply shocked everyone within the sound of
 his voice.

Admiral Nimitz said, “The Japanese made three of the biggest
 mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking
 care of America. Which do you think it was?”

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, “What do you
 mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an
 attack force ever made?”

Nimitz explained:

 Mistake number one: the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning.

 Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on
 leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk — we
 would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two: when the Japanese saw all those
 battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those
 battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite
 those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to
 tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the
 ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them
 over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already
 have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific
 theater of war is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles
 away over that hill.

 One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and
 destroyed our fuel supply.

 That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest
 mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America …

Admiral Nimitz was able to see a
 silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only
 despair and defeatism.

 President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job.

 We desperately needed a leader that could see silver linings
 in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat.

There is a reason that our national motto is, “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

Leave a Reply