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Did FDR conceal Pearl Harbor intelligence about Japanese attack?

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If there were a subtitle to this article, I suppose it should read, "No, he didn't," [at least based on Mr. Martinez' comments] but then I suppose not as many people would click on the link and read the story ...

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Coincidentally (or perhaps not so), all the advanced ships, including the aircraft carriers we out on a training exercise the day of the attack. Only the old WWI era ships we left in the harbor.

The US had the manpower and resources to fight the war and the American leadership new it. Their only problem was how to motivate and stir up the American citizenry to mobilize and fight.

The problem was solved.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

"a very small air force".

Was the Army Air Corp..

U.S. Air Force won its independence as a full partner with the Army and the Navy on September 18, 1947.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

it's also claimed that Churchill knew about the attack and didn't tell the U.S. as he wanted the U.S. to join the war against Nazi Germany. just another theory.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Since the U.S. was not at war, the "Special Air Unit" could not be organized overtly, but the request was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt himself. from wikipedia article about Flying Tigers

FDR got what he wanted. Maybe he didn't know where or when the the branch would snap but he knew it would.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This article is very one-sided. For the other side Pultizer Prizer winner John Toland's "Infamy: pearl harbor and its aftermath" is recommended. I have not read it. The Amazon reviews are good.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

NeverSubmit

Coincidentally (or perhaps not so), all the advanced ships, including the aircraft carriers we out on a training exercise the day of the attack. Only the old WWI era ships we left in the harbor.

Thats actually a false statement, the carriers all training. Of the three carriers stationed in the Pacific 1 the Enterprise had been ferrying a fighter squadron to Midway islands and was on its way back to Pearl Harbor, the Lexington was also carrying aircraft to Midway to reinforce the garrison there, and the Saratoga was in San Diego after finishing a stint in dry dock.

Furthermore of the 8 battleships at Pearl harbor 4 where post WW1 ships and 4 were WW1 vessels, of the 3 cruisers damaged or sunk all 3 where post WW1 vessels, similarily all 3 destroyers damaged or destroyed where modern post WW1 ships. So out of the 18 vessels sunk, destroyed or damaged 11 where post WW1 or more modern design. It is false to say that all the targets where obsolete vessels.

The US had the manpower and resources to fight the war and the American leadership new it. Their only problem was how to motivate and stir up the American citizenry to mobilize and fight.

Actually at the time of the attacks they didnt have either the manufacturing base or the military to fight the war which is why the Japanese where able to make such massive gains at the beginning while the allies built up their strength. As was actually predicted by the Japanese admiral who planned the Pearl Harbor attacks.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

It all depends whether US Navy cryptanalysts were able to break the JN25B code before the Pearl Harbor attack. (海軍暗号書D Kaigun Ango Sho D)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Even if he did know... what could he do... pre-emptively strike Japan's Naval fleet? He could have warned forces in Hawaii and put them on a high alert but it seems that that did not happen. However, that said, there were a few ships that normally would have been docked in Hawaii that were not. Perhaps he calculatingly compromised.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For more than 70 years, some have believed that U.S. President Franklin D Roosevelt had received intelligence about an imminent 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor but willingly chose not to act on it.

'Some' believe lots of things that make no sense.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Someone did the planning for Pearly Harbor and gave the order to attack. If someone high up on the American side turned a blind eye and sent the serviceable ships to sea for an exercise so that the Japanese could attack and not do too much damage, that person must also have been insane.

War is insane.

Mass killing is insane.

Let's stop doing it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

On October 8, 1940, Admiral James O. Richardson, commander of the Pacific Fleet, provoked a confrontation with President Roosevelt, repeating his earlier messages to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold R. Stark and to Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox—that Pearl Harbor was the wrong place for his ships. Roosevelt replied that having the fleet in Hawaii was a "restraining influence" on Japan.

Richardson asked the president if the United States was going to war. In Richardson's account the president responded:

"At least as early as October 8, 1940, President Roosevelt believed that affairs had reached such a state that the United States would be come involved in a war with Japan. ... 'that if the Japanese attacked Thailand, or the Kra Peninsula, or the Dutch East Indies we would not enter the war, that if they even attacked the Philippines he doubted whether we would enter the war, but that they (the Japanese) could not always avoid making mistakes and that as the war continued and that area of operations expanded sooner of later they would make a mistake and we would enter the war.' ... "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Events_leading_to_the_attack_on_Pearl_Harbor

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

http://www.amazon.com/Day-Deceit-Truth-About-Harbor/dp/0743201299/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323045701&sr=8-1

Day of Deceit

details how Roosevelt not only knew about pearl harbor, but he engineered it by goading Japan for a year leading up to the attacks

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

If war was declared the day before, nothing would of changed. Spidapig24, the battleships of Pearl Harbor were obsolete. The lacked proper air defenses, radar, proper fire control. If they would of been caught at sea, they would of all been sunk. They were slow, 20 something knots, the Japanese battleships had bigger guns and were 10 knots faster. About Roosevelt, do not think he knew. The Americans were unprepared for the Japanese attack, or they got caught with their pants down.

-4 ( +0 / -3 )

Everybody "Knew" that a Japanese attack was highly likely but nobody knew exactly where it was going to be. On the day Pearl was bombed the navy sent messages to Pearl, Panama and the Philippines putting them on high alert. The mnessages to Panama and the Philipines were sent by radio but Pearl could not be contacted so the message to Pearl was sent by Western Union and did not arrive until after the attack.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"He wanted war to happen with Germany," explains Martinez"

Really!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I prefer the one about the Japanese embassy staff who went drinking instead of filing Japan's declaration of war, thus it became a sneak attack. :)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@oglob: Actually the japanese embassy staff was having a farewell party for one of their staff. The message was not a declaration of war but a breaking off of diplomatic relations and the Ambassador, not being a professional, re-typed the message many times before delivering it.....thus arriving after the actual attack.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People forget that Pearl Harbor wan't the only site attacked that day. Japanese forces also attacked the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand and Midway, and Guam was attacked on Dec. 10. Besides Hawaii, Midway was the only target on Dec. 7 not to fall under Japanese control. Britain lost two huge battleships in a matter of minutes, and Winston Churchill wrote in his memoirs that their sinking was his lowest point of the entire war.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The message was not a declaration of war but a breaking off of diplomatic relations and the Ambassador, not being a professional, re-typed the message many times before delivering it.....thus arriving after the actual attack.

techall@the message did not break off diplomatic relations either, it broke off negotiations. Ambassador Nomura did not type the message himself. If you want to know about the "party" and all the other details of what transpired in Washington on those two days, read a book written by a Japanese who was actually in Washington at the time -- "Demystifying Pearl Harbor" by Takeo Iguchi.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Virtuoso: Thanks for the reference.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every major world event has a conspiracy theory attached to it. Anything that is going to be researched and studied on a massive scale will always turn up coincidences, odd occurrences, or "why didn't?" questions. Add in people whose personalities are to see more than what is there, and a conspiracy theory will follow. It's inevitable.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

American are well beaten by Japanese.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

bogus fizzle.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Churchill certainly knew it was coming. Why wouldn't FDR?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

some have believed that U.S. President Franklin D Roosevelt

Name the "some" source and give some facts or this is just gossip.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

YuriOtani

If war was declared the day before, nothing would of changed.

Actually there you are wrong, the ships would not have been in the state they where. They would have been manned and prepared. Read why some of the vessels sank so quick, the water tight doors where opened for inspections. Would those inspections take place one day after war was declared? No. A lot may have been different that is why the Japanese elected to do things the way they did they chose to give the US as little time as possible to protect themselves. Yes they wanted to declare war before the attack, an hour before, thereby leaving no time to do anything. The same as they did when they attacked Russia years earlier. This was a case of history repeating.

Spidapig24, the battleships of Pearl Harbor were obsolete. The lacked proper air defenses, radar, proper fire control. If they would of been caught at sea, they would of all been sunk.

They where not all obsolete maybe 4 of the 8 where the others where more modern however yes you are correct in one point they would have still been sunk if caught at sea. Because airpower made the battleships obsolete and vulnerable as was seen with the sinking of the Prince of Wales. Here was a modern battleship equivelant to anything the Japanese had and it was sunk by aircraft, look at the Yamato, Musashi, and the other modern Japanese battleships. They too where sunk by aircraft.

They were slow, 20 something knots, the Japanese battleships had bigger guns and were 10 knots faster.

Yes they where slower than the newest Japanese battleships, by about 6 or 7 knots. Yes the Japanese battleships had bigger guns but that was much to do with the Japanese violation of the London treaty more than anything else.

The Americans were unprepared for the Japanese attack, or they got caught with their pants down.

The US thought that the ships where safe in Pearl Harbor because of the depth of the water as aerial torpedos wouldnt work due to the shallow water. It was the British raid on Toranto that showed it could be done and the Japanese practised for many months to perfect the tactics whereas the US belived the attack would come in the Philippines which is why they built up their air strength their. In the end it was the deceitful nature of the Japanese that won the opening battle.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

My late father was a military man and had a close friend in Army Intelligence during and after WW2. I can remember, back in the 1950s, him telling me that British spies in Tokyo uncovered the plan to attack Pearl Harbour and relayed the information to the US side 6 days before the attack. My memory is perfectly clear on this but of course, verification is not possible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For years, partisan hacks have been burping this conspiracy theory. Anytime you'd like to present some evidence other than, "some guy wrote a book about a conspiracy theory" or "my dad said so", please do. Until then, just face it: Democrats ended the Great Depression and led the government during the successful prosecution of World War II. Sorry if that doesn't fit your world view.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Republicans made FDR do some bad things. It would be impossible for me to believe anything else.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's good the Japanese left the dry docks (ship repair facility) undamaged. The US had only two carriers, the USS Enterprise and the USS Hornet. The United States was able to repair the USS Yorktown (which was damaged previously in the Battle of the Coral Sea) in Pearl Harbor's dry docks in time and was able to join the naval task force for the Battle of Midway. Japan had four carriers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

telling me that British spies in Tokyo uncovered the plan to attack Pearl Harbour and relayed the information to the US side 6 days before the attack.

Actually it is a matter of historical record that the Peruvian charge d'affairs in Tokyo got wind of plans for the attack in September 1940 and attempted to relay the information to US ambassador Joseph Grew. He got nowhere with the Ivy League gentlemen in the State Dept. and his warning was brushed off. Efforts were made to cover up correspondence afterwards. C.f. "The Pearl Harbor Cover-up" by Frank Schuler and Robin Moore. German spy Richard Sorge apparently mentioned this in his correspondences to Moscow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

telecasterplayer: nothing to do with my "world view", just telling you what happened, many years before this subject started to be discussed regularly.

There doesn't seem to be any real definitive evidence one way or the other but Wikipedia (Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy theory) is interesting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For a headline with an open question, the article sure takes one side completely!

And the writer either has a short memory or thinks we do. And Daniel Martinez must think FDR was even more an idiot than GWB. Look at this:

“He wanted war to happen with Germany,” explains Martinez. “The last thing he needed was a two-front war.”

Apparently, Martinez thinks FDR was so dumb as to not realize that war with one meant war with the other. This guy calls himself a historian? Japan, Italy and Germany signed the Tripartite Pact for mutual assistance in 1940 and it had been in the works since 1938. And so we get his forgone conclusion.

The day after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Congress officially declared war on Japan. Three days later, Germany declared war on the United States,

So yes, its totally plausible that FDR sought to get his fight with Germany started by egging on Japan first. FDR did plenty to antagonize the Japanese. So much so that I think it foolish to think he wanted war with one but not the other at all.

If there are doubts about him having foreknowledge of Peal Harbor, there are fewer that he had foreknowledge of an attack in general.

But I would say that anyone making a hard and fast choice on the matter is just showing us their bias. Certainly nothing in the article proved he didn't have foreknowledge.

And let us remember one very important thing. The government of this great nation of the United States, this great open democracy with its revered Freedom of Information act, has not only destroyed documentation about the issue, not only blacked out portions of what documents have been made available to scholars, but still more than 75 years later, keeps plenty of documents specifically concerining this issue top secret, giving the American people and the world the finger.

We will never have a clear answer. But only a fool completely trusts the U.S government and her spokesmen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“We had a small army, a small navy, a very small air force,” says Martinez.

This guy seems to be completely unaware how many Naval Expansion Acts have FDR's signature on them, from the first in 38 all the way up to April of 41. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/scn-1933-roosevelt.htm

Besides, WWI should proof enough to anyone that the U.S. could raise a military when it needs to.

And the Pacific fleet was moved from California to Hawaii in 1940. To defend Hawaii or be sacrificial pawns? Who knows?

On the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt again wrote to Emperor Hirohito of Japan in a desperate bid to avoid military conflict with Tokyo, says the historian.

I could just as easily say he was trying to make it look good!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would really like to know: do the 33 to 39 percent of registered Democrats who believe 9-11 was "totally, like, a inside job, man" (though half a million Wikileaks docs had nothing to corroborate such lunacy) also believe that their hero FDR was aware of the Japanese plan to attack Pearl Harbor but did nothing to prepare us for it?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I prefer the one about the Japanese embassy staff who went drinking instead of filing Japan's declaration of war, thus it became a sneak attack. :)

Or maybe okasu? Do you really think someone is going to tell their victim ahead of time that they are going to rape them? They just do it. (Said dripping with sarcasm)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Leave it to unreconstructed to bring his baggage in the door and turn this from a thread where 9-11 has not been mentioned ONCE into a rant against the Democrats. He seems to forget that this occurred long, long ago and some people have had doubts about it ever since.

Personally I think it's hogwash. It's of course possible that they knew a strike was coming, but I highly doubt there were any suggestions that it would be at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese took advantage of the resulting lack of preparation to strike.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

We saw the Japanese as inferior militarily and even racially.

We? Does he really think an native American ?Will that he forgot he is a Mexican or puerto rican. Shut up,eater tortillas,do not say crap !**

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Personally I think it's hogwash. It's of course possible that they knew a strike was coming, but I highly doubt there were any suggestions that it would be at Pearl Harbor.

Your non-existent grasp of US history has me and probably most Americans here laughing. This is hardly a new theory. I can recall it being brought up in my h.s. history class decades ago.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

unreconstructed: "Your non-existent grasp of US history has me and probably most Americans here laughing. This is hardly a new theory."

So I have a non-existent grasp of US history (it's actually better than yours, clearly, as can be seen on many threads) and yet "it was brought up in your history class a decade ago". Look up 'paradox' in the dictionary -- you're still just upset from yesterday's bashing you took on the Cain thread.

Back to the topic at hand -- and no, it's not the Dems or 9-11 -- what's wrong with me saying I think the conspiracy is hogwash? It seems it's just not the answer you wanted to hear, and so once again you're upset. Plenty of posters have stated their opinion along similar lines, my friend. By hey, let's hear your opinion on the thread at once, WITHOUT bringing in unrelated rants about Democrats.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

March 15th, 2000: I was in Asheville, NC attending the 100th birthday of a dear old family friend, Buford S. "Bud" Craig, who was working as a columnist at the San Jose Mercury-Herald (today the Mercury News) during the war. He had indeed predicted that the Japanese were going to bomb us well before it actually happened in an article that made the front page of the Merc. Neither my "Uncle" Bud nor his son Don could recall the exact publishing date, probably around November of ’41 - but it would be an amazing keepsake if microfiche could be found. Among all the many friends and relatives gathered, only his son had heard this story before - and a few days later, he was gone. Bud Craig, R.I.P., 1990-2000.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Americans always love wars. It makes a sense that even if FDR concealed it. He thought wars were welcome to America. but so many poor soldiers died in vain .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is hardly a new theory. I can recall it being brought up in my h.s. history class decades ago.

It was brought up in my classrooms too. And soundly rejected as the rantings of lunatics with anti-FDR agendas with no proof to back their allegations.

The people who brought it up were usually corrected by the staff and ridiculed by the students for their overlly radical and incorrect agenda.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

“He wanted war to happen with Germany,” explains Martinez. “The last thing he needed was a two-front war.”

So he had no idea Japan and Germany were allies ? Oh, yeah, he wanted a war only with Germany, not Austria, Japan, Italy... "Hey guys, I'm Frankie, I want to fight only Germany. Others, stay away !".

military historian Daniel Martinez

As we say,what military music is to music, what military justice ia to justice, and what this Mr. Martinez is to historians... And Santa Claus will pass tonight, because I've been nice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"In the end it was the deceitful nature of the Japanese that won the opening battle."

Not even the average American high school kid believes this lowbrow propaganda anymore. How deceitful is something when both the US and Japan were training their militaries as each other as the desginated "enemy", US pilots were covertly shooting down Japanese planes over China and we took a policy of cornering them into attacking us through ultimatums and embargoes well over a year before the attack? And the flood of information tht has arisen about intelligence info indicating a Pearl Harbor attack from Soviet spy Sorge to Britain's MI6 casts substantial doubt on the "surprise" argument. Whether the reason for failure to take action to prevent he Japanese victory was deliberate or outright incompetence, as in 911, we will probably never know. But what is clear is that only a traumatized war veteran or a person utterly unaware of global events in the years leading up to 1941 would by the "sneak attack" argument that was used to whip the Amerucab public into a war mentality.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I highly doubt there were any suggestions that it would be at Pearl Harbor.

That could have been where otherwise ? The WTC towers of New York were not up yet. Seriously, there was no way Japan would even consider attacking/invading the US. They could only attack them in Asia-Oceania. You'd have given me the map at that time, I'd have picked Pearl Harbor as first target, then Guam and the Philippines (which they also did nearly at the same time). The main military spots.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The ambassador in Japan Grew sent a telegram to the Secretary of State on January 27, 1941. He mentioned the possibility that Japan would attack Pearl Harbor. FDR may have at least closely watched Japan's movements. Seeing as the radio communications between Tokyo and the Japanese Ambassador to the United States up to the war were decoded completely, I think America's surveillance capacity was far from crude.

A member of the Embassy was told by my.... colleague that from many quarters, including a Japanese one, he had heard that a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor was planned by the Japanese military forces, in case of "trouble" between Japan and the United States; that the attack would involve the use of all the Japanese military facilities. My colleague said that he was prompted to pass this on because it had come to him from many sources, although the plan seemed fantastic.

http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=turn&id=FRUS.FRUS193141v02&entity=FRUS.FRUS193141v02.p0199&q1=Grew

1 ( +2 / -1 )

TravisB - So yes, its totally plausible that FDR sought to get his fight with Germany started by egging on Japan first. FDR did plenty to antagonize the Japanese. So much so that I think it foolish to think he wanted war with one but not the other at all.

Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937. The U.S. embargo's were in response to Japan's aggression. A limit was placed on materials that could be used to support Imperial Japans invasions and conquests. The U.S. chose not to assist Japan's invasions of it's neighbors.

FDR and the U.S. Congress were attempting to stop the fighting in Asia and assist China not necessarily "antagonize" the Japanese military into attacking the U.S.. Japan could have chosen to withdraw it's troops and stop fighting. It chose to become more aggressive instead.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oy, not this again. You would have thought that some of the conspriacy theories had been beaten to death. Like the one where Nessie sank the Titanic, not an iceberg.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OssanAmericaDec. 06, 2011 - 01:08AM JST. US pilots were covertly shooting down Japanese planes over China and we took a policy of cornering them into attacking us through ultimatums and embargoes well over a year before the attack?

You don't know the reason why U.S. pilots were there? I am glad U.S. got involved. In 1937 and into 1938, in Japan's war with the Nationalist Chinese government,Japanese soldiers systematically raped, tortured and murdered estimated more than 300,000 civilians. This was more than killed in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, and more than the combined civilian losses of Britain, France and Belgium in the whole of World War II.

Chinese men were used for bayonet practice and in decapitation contests. An estimated 40,000 to 80,000 women were raped. Many soldiers went beyond rape to disembowel women, slice off their breasts, nail them alive to walls. Fathers were forced to rape their daughters, and sons their mothers, as other family members watched. Not only did live burials, castration, the carving of organs, and the roasting of people become routine, but more diabolical tortures were practiced . . . So sickening was the spectacle that even the Nazis in the city were horrified.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I think it's funny that the same posters here trying to convince people that FDR was in the know about Pearl Harbor like to bitch about people who don't buy the official government version of what happened on 9/11.

Their sense of consistency is dizzying at best.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"sfjp330Dec. 06, 2011 - 05:04AM JST You don't know the reason why U.S. pilots were there?"

Why they US pilots were there is not relevant to the question of whether the United States and Japan were already engaging in hostilities before the Pearl Harbor attack. Your tirade concerning alleged Japanese atrocities is also irrelevant to this topic.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sfjp330Dec. 06, 2011 - 05:04AM JST. OssanAmericaDec. 06, 2011 - 01:08AM JST. US pilots were covertly shooting down Japanese planes over China

I am not sure why you are defending the Japanese planese that murdered thousands of Chinese civilians. You should call yourself OssanJapan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937. The U.S. embargo's were in response to Japan's aggression.

All that you wrote may also be true. It does not negate what I said, and your only real mistake is thinking that it does.

In short, it is quite possible to have more than one reason for an action. FDR may well have wanted to punish Japan as well as draw them in. No reason at all to think it must be one or the other.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am not sure why you are defending the Japanese planese that murdered thousands of Chinese civilians.

But I am completely sure why you are trying to change the subject to China, and its as lame as it is ugly. No matter what Japan did in China, it does not change the fact that anyone who was surprised by the attack on Pearl Harbor just wasn't paying attention.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TravisBDec. 06, 2011 - 07:48AM JST. But I am completely sure why you are trying to change the subject to China, and its as lame as it is ugly. No matter what Japan did in China, it does not change the fact that anyone who was surprised by the attack on Pearl Harbor just wasn't paying attention.

Wasn't paying attention? Where did you get that? In late 1940. Roosevelt knew that Japan and America are going to go to war, and that Nazi Germany’s going to become a threat to America’s security. Roosevelt knew America has to get into the war. But the public opinion is against that. So, America should do more to provoke Japan to become more hostile, to attack America, so that the public would be behind a war effort. Things like keeping the Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor, and crippling Japan’s economy with an embargo,there was no question that this would cause Japan, whose government was very militant to attack the U.S. U.S. adopt these policies then Japan will commit an overt act of war, which they did.

At the time, U.S. population had a strong isolation movement. Eighty percent of the people wanted nothing to do with Europe’s war. And, you know, German submarines were sinking U.S. ships in the North Atlantic. That did not rouse the American public. Nobody gave a damn. The USS Ruben James was a destroyer that was sunk, and lost a hundred lives about a month before Pearl Harbor. And there were other ships, merchant ships, and other ships in the North Atlantic that were sunk or damaged. But no one cared about it. The American people thought that Roosevelt was trying to provoke U.S. into the German war, or Europe’s war. They didn’t want anything to do with that. But, you see, he got Japan to attack U.S. in a most outrageous manner that really did unite the country.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

well if any of you have studied world war 2, you would know Japan had stated in sep/41 that the naval fleets in Hawaii were a gun pointing to Japans head. BUT did not say if or when they would attack. (surprise attack) FDR/the US really didn't know. IF we knew they would have prepared & it still would have counted as an attack on US. too many people want to make it sound like we "tricked jp into attacking US. Nonesense! they attacked us we fought back & WON. I LOVE Japan more than anyone but you have to be able to Face FACTS! most japanese don't even like talking abbout ww2. the importantt thing now is we are friends now & will be for a LONG Time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CosDec. 06, 2011 - 12:58AM JST

“He wanted war to happen with Germany,” explains Martinez. “The last thing he needed was a two-front war.”

So he had no idea Japan and Germany were allies ? Oh, yeah, he wanted a war only with Germany, not Austria, Japan, Italy... "Hey guys, I'm Frankie, I want to fight only Germany. Others, stay away !".

And yet the US, UK and Russia were allies, but Japan never attacked Russia during the course of WW2.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

NeverSubmit Dec. 05, 2011 - 07:28AM JST

Coincidentally (or perhaps not so), all the advanced ships, including the aircraft carriers we out on a training exercise the day of the attack. Only the old WWI era ships we left in the harbor.

Well that just seals it! You see, battleships were seen as the major ships of war even in 1941, carriers were seen as ships to help battleships find their targets, by using their planes for scouting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Remember war is very profitable. Public Relations was invented by the then War Department to sell WWI to the American public. Worked so well that Business took notice and about 85% of the news articles today are little more than the PR hand outs given to the press. War is still very profitable and or PR is much better so that we can sell a new war every few years instead on once a generation. War profiteers still make a killing, just like always. In politics war is very useful for keeping attention off the problems at home that are not getting attention needed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Intelligence is highly over-rated. FDR was assuredly receiving intel about potential Japanese attacks EVERYWHERE in an obvious intel subterfuge by Japan to spread our limited forces all over the place. That we piled them all up in Hawaii for the Japanese to take out in a single blaze of glory required some incredible political intelligence (what happens when politicians practice military strategy).

Did FDR know - of course he did, despite the nay-sayers. But he also had a plethora of other data to process - I'm guessing the theory was to mass the navy at Pearl so they could sail out in force once activated. The blunder occurred with the lax if not non-existent vigilance of maintaining a "safe perimeter" around the battle group.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Was the Army Air Corp

This is still an air force.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And yet the US, UK and Russia were allies, but Japan never attacked Russia during the course of WW2.

Japan attacked Russia in 1938 and got their butts stomped in 1939. This lead to non-aggression pacts with both Germany and Japan on one side and Russia on the other. Despite that Japan prepared to invade Russia again later but changed its mind due to other more pressing concerns.

But you must understand that Germany was not bound by a non-aggression pact when Japan attacked America, as Japan was bound when Germany attacked Russia, that on top of having just been whipped by Russia. The situations were very different.

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May I suggest that people google Secretary of State Cordell Hull and read about his meeting in Lafayette Park with Washington journalist, Joseph Leib. Two or three weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor Hull gave documents to Leib informing him that Japan would attack Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7. He told Leib to put the information on the international wire services. Leib did and one week before the attack on Nov.30, 1941, headlines appeared on the front page of the Honolulu Advertiser, "Japanese May Strike Over Weekend!" Anyone reading those headlines in Hawaii had to at least consider that it might mean Pearl Harbor was the target. If Cordell Hull knew about the attack in advance may we speculate that FDR probably knew as well?

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TravisB Dec. 06, 2011 - 06:21PM JST

"And yet the US, UK and Russia were allies, but Japan never attacked Russia during the course of WW2."

Japan attacked Russia in 1938 and got their butts stomped in 1939. This lead to non-aggression pacts with both Germany and Japan on one side and Russia on the other. Despite that Japan prepared to invade Russia again later but changed its mind due to other more pressing concerns.

But you must understand that Germany was not bound by a non-aggression pact when Japan attacked America, as Japan was bound when Germany attacked Russia, that on top of having just been whipped by Russia. The situations were very different.

I agree completely, I was just trying to give a basic rebuttal to Cos's post of Dec. 06.

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David3 - May I suggest that people google Secretary of State Cordell Hull and read about his meeting in Lafayette Park with Washington journalist, Joseph Leib. Two or three weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor Hull gave documents to Leib informing him that Japan would attack Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7. He told Leib to put the information on the international wire services. Leib did and one week before the attack on Nov.30, 1941, headlines appeared on the front page of the Honolulu Advertiser, "Japanese May Strike Over Weekend!"

According to the Honolulu Advertiser (and they should know) -

A Nov. 30 headline warned "Japanese May Strike Over Weekend!" It appears at first to have been an early prophetic alarm. The headline actually referred to one of several stories beneath, on an expected invasion of Singapore.

Cordell Hull has never said that he had met with Joseph Leib or that he had given anyone any papers confirming an impending attack on Pearl Harbor.

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