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Pearl Harbor Essay, Research Paper

The United States had been warned in advance that there would be a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. They had also broken all Japanese codes and were aware of all the details needed to prevent the attack on Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt had made a campaign promise to not get involved in a war with Germany unless the United States was attacked first; so, he made strategic use of Japan’s plans as a way to go to war with Germany. The FBI was warned by one of Britain’s top agents, Duskov Popov, about a planned attack on Pearl Harbor and that it would be soon. The FBI told him that the information was too precise and too complete to be true. They assumed it was a trap since the information detailed exactly where, when, how, and by whom the United States was going to be attacked. Both Churchill’s secret envoy and head of secret service failed to convince the US government to take Popov seriously. In the fall of 1941, Kilsoo Haan, an agent for the Sino-Korean People’s League, told Eric Severeid of CBS that the Korean underground had proof that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor before Christmas. In addition, one Korean had even seen the plans. In late October, Haan finally convinced US Senator Guy Gillette that the Japanese were planning to attack in December or January, and he alerted the State Department and Army and Navy Intelligence, but it was soon discarded. Haan called Maxwell Hamilton at the State Department in December, and told him that the Korean underground had information that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor the coming weekend. He also forwarded a written report pointing to the publication of Hawaiian Air Corps schedules for November and December by the Japanese paper Nippu JiJi. On November 19th, the Americans intercepted a word code that established a series of messages to be inserted into the daily weather forecasts of Tokyo Radio. The British decrypted “Higashi No Kaze Ame” on November 25th. The phrase, which meant “East Wind Rain,” reached Roosevelt on November 26th and was decoded as “United States War” on the 28th. Ralph Briggs, at the Navy’s East Coast Intercept station, received the “East Wind Rain” message in the early hours of December 4th. He put it on the TWX circuit immediately and called his commander. The log sheet between 0500 hours and 1300 hours has been deleted from the files. JN-25, the Japanese Navy’s Cryptographic System, was used by Yamamototo to give the order that the Striking Force will move out of Hitokappu Wan on the morning of November 26th and advance to the standby position on the afternoon of December 4th. This was a critical message because it revealed that a strike force had assembled in the Kurile islands, it was huge comprising of the First Fleet, the Second Fleet, and a number of aircraft carriers, and the voyage was so far that it required fueling in 8 days. The only target that fit this voyage length, mid ocean refueling, and the inclusion of aircraft carriers was Pearl Harbor. Churchill sent a secret message to Roosevelt telling him of the coded message. At the Army Board inquiry it was stated, “On November 26 there was received specific evidence of the Japanese intention to wage offensive war against Great Britain and the United States.” A few weeks earlier, The Hawaiian commanders had already begun a search for an alleged fleet of aircraft carriers, without notifying Hawaii, and on December 1st, the Twelfth Naval District in San Francisco found the Japanese fleet. This fleet received a message via JN-25 that under the necessity of self-preservation and self-defense, Japan was now in a position to declare war with the United States. On December 2nd, the order was given to wait for the code “Climb Mt. Nitaka” before attacking, and on December 3rd, a list of ships at Pearl Harbor was sent to Tokyo. By December 5th, the first 13 parts of Japan’s declaration of war had been completely decoded and a Cabinet meeting was held to inform Roosevelt of all the evidence gathered. Secretary of the Navy Knox said, “Well, you know Mr. President, we know where the Japanese fleet is?” “Yes, I know” said FDR. ” I think we ought to tell everybody just how ticklish the situation is. We have information as Knox just mentioned…Well, you tell them what it is, Frank.” Knox became very excited and said, “Well, we have very secret information that the Japanese fleet is out at sea. Our information is…” and then FDR cut him off. Along with the war cabinet, he waited patiently at the White House later that evening for Japan’s attack signal. This means that Roosevelt was aware of the Nitaka message. A message explaining the attack was transmitted to the Navy in Washington on September 24, 1941. The message was from the Japan Naval Intelligence and was directed to Japan’s consul general in Honolulu. It requested the exact locations of ships for the benefit of torpedo pilots. However, the Chief of War Plans and the Chief of Naval Operations kept the message from being forwarded to Hawaii. On November 27th, Secretary of War Stimson sent a warning to the Atlantic and Pacific bases saying that hostile action was possible; but, Pearl Harbor was not mentioned as a likely target, and then Hawaii was notified to not take any unusual precautions as to prevent suspicion from the public. They were simply supposed to be on guard for sabotage; and both aircraft carriers, the Enterprise and the Lexington, were ordered out of Pearl Harbor, while the ships were ordered back in. Then, just before December 7th, the West Coast and the Panama Canal were put on high alert. Hawaii was not. At 10:30am of December 7th, Marshall was informed of the 15th part of the Japanese declaration of war, but instead of taking it at his quarters, he would wait until he was in his office to look at it. At 11:00am, Roosevelt read the message setting the time for the declaration of war to be delivered to the State Department at 1:00pm. At 11:25am, Marshall reached his office. Marshall, urged by his aides to warn Hawaii, insisted on reading and re-reading all fourteen parts of the message which took an hour, and then refused to send a warning by the fast Navy system; but, when informed it would take 30 or 40 minutes by Army radio to send his watered-down warning, he was satisfied. Because of this, the warning wouldn’t reach Pearl Harbor until after the 1:00pm Washington deadline. The warning was sent without a priority identification and arrived 6 hours late. Pearl Harbor was attacked at 7:55am Hawaii time. Nine hours later, MacArthur’s entire air force was caught by surprise and destroyed in the Philippines. He then refused to meet with his air commander General Brereton, and made other delays. He refused to attack Japanese forces on Formosa, even under direct orders from the War Department, or allow the bombers to be moved to the South islands out of harm’s way. McArthur was under orders to allow his forces to be destroyed. This was Roosevelt’s way of bringing the United States into the war in Europe. The Tripartite Pact of 1940 was an agreement between Japan, Germany and Italy, in which each country promised to support the others if they were attacked. Ironically, the United States was the only country the three had any concerns about, and in August of 1941, it was expanded to include hostilities no matter who initiated them. Roosevelt needed the United States Navy and Army Air Corps to be destroyed because without an American fleet on the Atlantic, Hitler could be expected to declare war. If Japan’s fleet was destroyed and the American fleet was intact, Hitler would have no incentive to side with a crippled Japan and could be expected to ignore the Tripartite Pact. The British, Dutch, and Americans could translate JN-25 messages without difficulty or delay throughout 1941. It has been proven that the JN-25 messages were kept from Hawaiian commanders Kimmel and Short; in fact, After Pearl Harbor was bombed, code breakers at the Far East Combined Bureau had an emergency meeting to determine if they had passed on all decoded JN-25 messages to the US through December 7th on a daily basis, which they did. In addition, the United States has shown how they used JN- 25 decrypts after December 8th to win the Battle of Midway 7 months after the Pearl Harbor attack. Therefore, there is nothing unusual about the code itself. Tokyo had to send the daily bomb-plots from its Honolulu consulate and the December 3rd list of ships in Pearl Harbor to the attack fleet by JN-25 radio messages, so Roosevelt also received them, which means that he knew their targets at the same time the Japanese bombers found out. He had knowledge of their specific targets! , ship by ship, in his hands at the White House. From all the overwhelming evidence, it cannot be denied that by December 2nd, Roosevelt had definite proof of Japan’s planned invasion of Pearl Harbor. Up to the morning of December 7th, everything that the Japanese were planning to do was known to the United States except for the very hour and minute when the attack would take place. It could therefore, have been prevented and thousands of lives could have been saved, if it hadn’t been for Roosevelts secret desire to bring the United States to war with Germany. Bibliography Costello, John; Days of Infamy; New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994 Rusbridger, James & Eric Nave; Betrayal at Pearl Harbor; New York: Summit, 1991 Toland, John; Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath; Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1982

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