The Lost Tapes from Pearl Harbor


❝ One style of history documentary — vintage clips plus reminiscences plus talking heads — is so common that it’s easy to forget that there are other options. “The Lost Tapes,” a series the Smithsonian Channel introduces on Sunday night with an episode on Pearl Harbor, effectively employs an alternative that really ought to get more use, especially for history that falls within the era of film and sound recording.

The program consists of just clips and still images with an occasional caption. No academics in office-chair interviews interpret things for you. No survivors grow weepy while dredging up their decades-old memories. No narration intrudes. The idea is to come closer to putting you in the historical moment, to give you a sense of what people experienced and felt at the time.

RTFA. Know what to expect, what to look for, when you watch this – as I plan to do. Never forget.

2 thoughts on “The Lost Tapes from Pearl Harbor

  1. 4theRecord says:

    Nine hours after the dawn attack on Pearl Harbor Japanese planes from Formosa bombed American bases and Manila in the Philippines, destroying half of the aircraft belonging to U.S. Army’s Far East Air Force ( ) on the ground. The inexcusable failure by General MacArthur to follow orders to place American military forces in the Philippines on a proper war footing immediately following news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor resulted in the effective elimination of American air power in the western Pacific, forced the complete withdrawal of the United States Asiatic Fleet from Philippine waters and paved the way for the Japanese invasion that followed.

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