In preparation for the battle of Midway, Admiral Nimitz had a decision to make: did his intelligence code-breakers successfully break the Japanese code and correctly discern that Midway was Japanese Admiral Yamamoto's next target? If Nimitz was correct, he could use his three remaining carriers (Halsey's Enterprise and Hornet- Fletcher's severely damaged Yorktown, nearly sunk in the battle of the Coral Sea was pressed into service and ended up playing a significant role in sinking the Japanese fleet at Midway) to ambush Yamamoto and give the Japanese their first significant naval defeat.
However, to ambush Yamamoto, Nimitz had to leave both Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States virtually undefended. Yamamoto was betting Nimitz couldn't do that, and thus felt secure that his carriers were safe from attack. If Nimitz's intelligence was wrong and Yamamoto attacked Hawaii again or California, there were no US Carriers to stop the Japanese.
Yamamoto had his own problems to contend with. In an era before satellites and primitive radar, he had to locate Halsey's and Fletcher's carrier groups. Yamamoto needed to know where the US Carriers were so he could send the bombers from his carriers properly armed to attach either the hardened shelters on Midway or the US Carriers.
Nimitz was right, Yamamoto was wrong, and the Japanese lost all four of their carriers that day: the Akagi, the Kaga, the Soryu, and later -from the Yorktown and Enterprise bombers, the Hiryu.
The Japanese would never be on the naval offensive again in the war.
Intelligence- the ability to discern the enemy's moves and disguise your own attack and defense, has been the sine qua non of military strategy ever since Sun Tzu wrote his classic "The Art of War."
These concerns play an important part in criminal defense and modern trial strategy. A good prosecutor spends time wondering what the defense will be. A good defense attorney (should) spend time disguising his or her defense. Sending the prosecution off on irrelevant tangents can be a valuable way to get the state to waste time and resources while allowing the defense to attack the prosecution in areas not well defended.
Defense attorney Stan Blake did that about two decades ago when he successfully defended a murder case. The prosecutor brought her new fangled DNA testimony to a trial only to learn that the defense was self defense. The prosecutor spent an enormous and un-needed amount of time proving the identity of the defendant, while Blake attacked the weak spot of the prosecution. The verdict was a not guilty.
In a lengthy trial we had last year, the prosecution intended to introduce a long deposition of our client in a civil fraud case that turned into a criminal prosecution. We knew the prosecution was expecting us to object to the introduction of the depo, and we fostered that belief by objecting to their reference to it during opening statement. We also knew that the statement was clearly an admission against interest and we couldn't keep it out. We thus spent months pulling it apart line by line, and using every good answer by our client during our cross examination of their witness. Their witness was not prepared for a detailed examination of the depo line by line, and we turned a perceived weakness into a strong point of the defense, highlighting portions of the depo during our closing.
When you approach a trial, how much time do you spend on figuring out what the prosecution is going to say and how much time do you spend on figuring out what the prosecution thinks your defense will be? If you can get the prosecution to incorrectly assume and prepare for a defense you will not be using, you are half way home to a not guilty.
As Sun Tzu said, "All warfare is based on deception."
See you in court. Maybe....
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