Secondary Source

Borch, Fred, and Daniel Martinez. Kimmel, Short and Pearl Harbor: The Final Report Revealed. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 2005.

1.  Provide some information about the author.

  • Fred Borch is an Army lawyer.  His latest assignment was as chief prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions, DOD.  He supervised the prosecution of terrorists detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  He has extensive knowledge of the subject of my review; he is one of the three writers of the Dorn Report, a study commissioned to investigate what General Short and Admiral Kimmel were guilty of and who else was responsible. 

2.  Why did the author write this book?  What’s the author’s perspective.

  • Colonel Borch wrote this book to submit all the facts regarding Pearl Harbor that were learned during the Dorn investigation.  He wanted to: (1)bring the full text of the Dorn Report’s to the public for scholars and others to study, (2) present the first comprehensive official investigation into responsibility and culpability at Pearl Harbor to be conducted since the 1940’s, (3)present the facts from the first official inquiry to conclude that Kimmel and Short were not alone responsible, (4) continue to frame the debate about the responsibility for the attack, and (5) to address the restoration of Admiral Kimmel and General Short to their wartime ranks.

3.  What is the author’s methodology?   What sources does the author use?  What is the book’s thesis?

  • The author reviewed many primary and secondary sources, including the original transcripts from the previous 9 commissions, the report of the Joint Congressional Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, as well as official personnel records for Admiral Kimmel and General Short.  He examined correspondence between their families and the Army and Navy on reinstating their ranks posthulously.  He also read works from Kimmel’s own book, and Gordon Prange’s At Dawn We Slept.  In addition to extensive research,  The three-man commission conducted a site visit to Oahu and met with the families of Kimmel and Short.

4.  When was the book written?

  • The book was written in 2005.

5.  How will you use the source for your paper?

  • There is a plethora of information regarding General Short’s culpability as well as a large list of primary and secondary sources available in the bibliography. 

6.  What are some of the problems that you foresee in using this source for your paper?

  • I can only use it as a secondary source, but I can also use it as a jumping-off point to collect primary source data.

Comments are closed.