Everything you know about Pearl Harbor is wrong
History.net, a really excellent article for this military history buff. Note the last paragraph:
But examining the attack’s planning and execution blunders offers a key perspective on the Pacific War. Defeat forces change; victory entrenches the current system, with all its faults.
By celebrating its success at Pearl Harbor, Japan sheltered myriad problems. Victory obscured poor planning, to be seen again at Midway; poor staff procedures were evident later at Guadalcanal. Poor target selection, attack tactics, and accuracy appeared again in the carrier battles; poor aerial command and control manifested throughout the war. Victory perpetuated a samurai approach to aerial combat that led to horrendous losses.
Most significantly, Pearl Harbor cemented the Japanese belief that they could achieve stunning victory against all odds—that with sufficient will and the favor of the gods they could achieve the impossible. This sustained Japan when defeat was inevitable; it prolonged the war; it nurtured the Bushido warrior spirit—and its dark side, the kamikaze. Paradoxically, the Japanese victory at Pearl Harbor firmly entrenched the seeds of the destruction of their navy, and near destruction of their nation.
A lesson with broad application.