Gordon William Prange (July 16, 1910 – May 15, 1980) was the author of several World War II historical manuscripts which were published by his co-workers after his death in 1980. Prange was a Professor of History at the University of Maryland from 1937 to 1980 with a break of nine years (1942–1951) of military service overseas, and in the postwar era of military occupation of Japan, when he was the Chief Historian in General Douglas MacArthur's staff.It was during this time that Prange collected material from and interviewed many Japanese military officers, enlisted men, and civilians, with the information later being used in the writing of his books. Several became New York Times bestsellers, including At Dawn We Slept and Miracle at Midway .
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The University of Maryland, College Park is a public research university in College Park, Maryland. Founded in 1856, UMD is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland, and is the largest university in both the state and the Washington metropolitan area, with more than 41,000 students representing all fifty states and 123 countries, and a global alumni network of over 360,000. Its twelve schools and colleges together offer over 200 degree-granting programs, including 92 undergraduate majors, 107 master's programs, and 83 doctoral programs. UMD is a member of the Association of American Universities and competes in intercollegiate athletics as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
Prange's 1963 Tora! Tora! Tora!, published in the November and December issues of Reader's Digest , and later expanded into At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story Of Pearl Harbor, portrayed the attack on Pearl Harbor, and is credited as the basis for the screenplay of the film Tora! Tora! Tora! , which was produced in 1970, while Prange took a leave of absence from the University of Maryland to serve as the technical consultant during its filming. His extensive research into the attack on Pearl Harbor was the subject of a Public Broadcasting Service television program in 2000, Prange and Pearl Harbor: A Magnificent Obsession, and was acclaimed "a definitive book on the event" by The Washington Post .
Reader's Digest is an American general-interest family magazine, published ten times a year. Formerly based in Chappaqua, New York, it is now headquartered in Midtown Manhattan. The magazine was founded in 1922, by DeWitt Wallace and Lila Bell Wallace. For many years, Reader's Digest was the best-selling consumer magazine in the United States; it lost the distinction in 2009 to Better Homes and Gardens. According to Mediamark Research (2006), Reader's Digest reaches more readers with household incomes of $100,000+ than Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Inc. combined.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.
Tora! Tora! Tora! is a 1970 Japanese-American biographical war drama film that dramatizes the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The film was directed by Richard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, and stars an ensemble cast including Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, Sō Yamamura, E. G. Marshall, James Whitmore and Jason Robards.
Prange was a popular lecturer at the University of Maryland. The Terrapin, the university's yearbook, said of his World War I and World War II history classes: "Students flock to his class and sit enraptured as he animates the pages of twentieth century European history through his goosesteps, 'Seig Heils', 'Achtungs', machine gun retorts and frantic gestures".
A yearbook, also known as an annual, is a type of a book published annually to record, highlight, and commemorate the past year of a school. The term also refers to a book of statistics or facts published annually. A yearbook often has an overarching theme that is present throughout the entire book.
Gordon William Prange was born on July 16, 1910, in Pomeroy, Iowa. His parents were Al, a blacksmith and his wife Johanna.He had one older brother Russell. He attended Pomeroy High School where he excelled in baseball and track athletics. He was also known as the class clown. He graduated from Pomeroy in 1928 and enrolled at the University of Iowa intending to become a coach, but switched to history. He obtained his bachelor's degree, his Masters in 1934, and Doctorate in 1937. He studied at the University of Berlin in 1935 to 1936, during which he said: "I saw Hitler operate firsthand and heard him speak a number of times."
Pomeroy is a city in Calhoun County, Iowa, United States. The population was 662 at the 2010 census.
The University of Iowa is a public research university in Iowa City, Iowa. Founded in 1847, it is the oldest and the second largest university in the state. The University of Iowa is organized into 11 colleges offering more than 200 areas of study and seven professional degrees.
In 1937 he married Anne Root, a professor's daughter from Iowa City. They had two daughters and a son. They moved to Maryland where Prange took employment as a history instructor at the University of Maryland.
Prange died on May 15, 1980 in Baltimore, Maryland from cancer. He was 69. 'Prange Park' in Pomeroy is named after him.
All below by Gordon W. Prange, with Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon:
Isoroku Yamamoto was a Japanese Marshal Admiral of the Navy and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II until his death.
Isoroku Yamamoto's sleeping giant quotation is a film quote by the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto regarding the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by forces of Imperial Japan.
Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American romantic period war drama film directed by Michael Bay, produced by Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer and written by Randall Wallace. It stars Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Colm Feore, and Alec Baldwin. The film presented a heavily fictionalized version of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, focusing on a love story set amidst the lead up to the attack and its aftermath, and the Doolittle Raid.
The Hull note, officially the Outline of Proposed Basis for Agreement Between the United States and Japan, was the final proposal delivered to the Empire of Japan by the United States of America before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese declaration of war. The note was delivered on November 26, 1941, and is named for Secretary of State Cordell Hull. It was the culmination of a series of events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was an ultimatum for Japan to withdraw from China and other occupied territories, and was perceived by the Japanese as a casus belli.
Mitsuo Fuchida was a Japanese captain in the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service and a bomber aviator in the Japanese navy before and during World War II. He is perhaps best known for leading the first wave of air attacks on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Working under the overall fleet commander, Vice Admiral Chūichi Nagumo, Fuchida was responsible for the coordination of the entire aerial attack.
Kichisaburō Nomura was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and was the ambassador to the United States at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
George Welch was a World War II flying ace, a Medal of Honor nominee, and an experimental aircraft pilot after the war. Welch is best known for being one of the few United States Army Air Corps fighter pilots able to get airborne to engage Japanese forces in the attack on Pearl Harbor and for his work as a test pilot. Welch resigned from the United States Army Air Forces as a major in 1944, and became a test pilot for North American Aviation.
Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor is a book by Robert Stinnett. It alleges that Franklin Roosevelt and his administration deliberately provoked and allowed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to bring the United States into World War II. Stinnett argues that the attacking fleet was detected by radio and intelligence intercepts, but the information was deliberately withheld from Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, the commander of the Pacific Fleet at that time.
Robert B. Stinnett was an American sailor, photographer and author. He earned ten battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. He was the author of Day of Deceit, regarding alleged U.S. government advance knowledge of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States into World War II.
Minoru Genda was a well-known Japanese military aviator and politician. He is best known for helping to plan the Pearl Harbor attack. He was also the third Chief of Staff of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
Colonel Rufus Sumter Bratton was Chief of the Far Eastern Section of the Intelligence Branch of the Military Intelligence Division (G-2) in the War Department in December 1941, when the United States entered World War II.
The 1st Air Fleet also known as the Kidō Butai, was a name used for a combined carrier battle group comprising most of the aircraft carriers and carrier air groups of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), during the first eight months of the Pacific War.
Shigekazu Shimazaki, was a Japanese career officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service during World War II.
Kenneth Marlar Taylor was a United States Air Force officer and a flying ace of World War II. He was a new United States Army Air Corps second lieutenant pilot stationed at Wheeler Field during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Along with his fellow pilot and friend George Welch, Taylor managed to get a fighter plane airborne under fire. Taylor claimed to have shot down four Japanese dive bombers but only two were confirmed. Taylor was injured during the incident and received several awards for his efforts, including the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart.
Shigeyoshi Miwa, was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. He commanded the Japanese submarine forces during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Japanese submarine I-10 was a Type A1 submarine built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the 1930s.
The attack on Pearl Harbor has received substantial attention in popular culture in multiple media and cultural formats including film, architecture, memorial statues, non-fiction writing, historical writing, and historical fiction. Today, the USS Arizona Memorial on the island of Oahu honors the dead. Visitors to the memorial reach it via boats from the naval base at Pearl Harbor. The memorial was designed by Alfred Preis, and has a sagging center but strong and vigorous ends, expressing "initial defeat and ultimate victory". It commemorates all lives lost on December 7, 1941.