TV

'Pearl Harbor: The Truth' airs ahead of the 75th anniversary of the attack

Captain Husband E. Kimmel, USN  Photographed circa 1926-1937.  U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Captain Husband E. Kimmel, USN Photographed circa 1926-1937. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

As America prepares to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Japan's December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the History Channel is shedding light on the tragic day. Their one-hour special “Pearl Harbor: The Truth” claims intelligence and military mistakes allowed early warning signs of the Japanese attack to be missed. 

The husband-and-wife duo Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan wrote the book “A Matter of Honor—Betrayal, Blame & a Family’s Quest for Justice” on which the special is based. Swan told FOX411 they wanted to explore the theory that Admiral Edward Kimmel and General Walter Short were made scapegoats for the attack.

“For 75 years most American have been under the impression that Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 succeeded because the Army and Navy commanders in Hawaii were 'asleep at the switch' -- that it was their fault," Swan said.

“This is a complex story, but an injustice was done perhaps for good reason at the time,” Swan explained. “One of the things that was hidden was the secret that the United States was breaking the Japanese diplomatic code and keeping that secret saved countless lives during the war... but after that, there is no worthy reason for continuing to vilify two honorable men and to allow them to shoulder the responsibility of the death of so many young men. It is an injustice that should be righted.”  

Summers said the special is indeed an exposé.

“The fact that there have only been two big catastrophes -- one was Pearl Harbor... and the other was 9/11. They are both the same kind of stature and horror in the American memory,” Summers said. “It matters for the reason Vice President Joe Biden has annunciated, which is that in the United States, an injustice along the lines of the disgrace that was put on Admiral Kimmel should not be allowed to stand.”

In the History special, Swan said viewers will see the "snafus" that occurred along the way. 

“We have done this enormous investigation of what happened, the lead up to Pearl Harbor and why the History Channel has chosen to call it ‘The Truth’ …” she said. “The History Channel really shows the kind of litany of screw ups... that really contributed to the disaster in which Admiral Kimmel and General Short... could not be held solely accountable and should not have been held accountable and therefore scapegoated for the mistakes of many, and that is a grave injustice.”  

“Pearl Harbor: The Truth” premieres December 4th on the History Channel.

You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.

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