Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor On 7 December 1941 the greatest disaster in United States history occurred. Truly this was and is, “‘A date which will live in infamy.'”(Costello 1), but not for the bombing of Pearl Harbor, rather for the deception and the mis-guidance used by the Government and Franklin D. Roosevelt. In a purely artificial chess game Roosevelt sacrificed over 2400 American Seamen’s lives, thanks to his power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. By over-looking the obvious facts of an attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt was able to control both the political and economic systems of the United States.

Most of American society before the Pearl Harbor bombing believed in the idea of isolationism. Franklin D. Roosevelt knew this, and knew the only way in which United States countrymen would take arms and fight in Europe’s War was to be an overt action against the United States by a member of the Axis Power. Roosevelt also believed Hitler would not declare war on the United States unless he knew they were beatable. There are numerous accounts of actions by Roosevelt and his top armed forces advisors, which reveal they were not only aware of an attack by Japan, but also they were planning on it, and instigating that attack. On 7 October 1940, Lieutenant Commander Arthur H.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

McCollum, head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence, wrote the eight-action memo. This memo outlined eight different steps the United States could do that he predicted would lead to an attack by Japan on the United States. The day after this memo was giving to Franklin D. Roosevelt, he began to implement these steps. By the time that Japan finally attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, all eight steps had occurred (Willy 1). The eight steps consisted of two main subject areas; the first being a sign of United States military preparedness and threat of attack, the second being a forceful control on Japans trade and economy.

The main subject area of the eight-action memo was the sign of United States military preparedness and threat of attack. McCollum called for the United States to make arrangements with both Britain (Action A) and Holland (Action B), for the use of military facilities and acquisition of supplies in both Singapore and Indonesia. He also suggested for the deployment of a division of long-range heavy cruisers (Action D) and two divisions of submarines (Action E) to the Orient. The last key factor McCollum called for was to keep the United States Fleet in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands (Action F). Roosevelt personally took charge of Action’s D and E; these actions were called “pop up” cruises. Roosevelt had this to say about the cruises, “‘I just want them to keep popping up here and there and keep the Japs guessing (Stinnett 9).'” With the fleet located around Hawaii and particularly in Pearl Harbor a double-sided sword was created; it allowed for quicker deployment times into South Pacific Water, but more importantly it lacked many fundamental military needs, and was vulnerable due to its geographic location.

To understand the true vulnerability of Pearl Harbor one must look at Oahu, the Hawaiian Island that the military base is located. The North part of the island is all mountains, these mountains hinder the vision of military look out points, making an attack from the North virtually a surprise until the sound of fighter planes are over head. There were many key military needs that were missing from Pearl Harbor, and they were; a lack of training facilities, lack of large-scale ammunition and fuel supplies, lack of support craft such as tugs and repair ships, and a lack of overhaul facilities such as dry-docking and machine shops. Commander in Chief, United States Fleet – Admiral James O. Richardson, was outraged when he was told by President Roosevelt of his plans on keeping the fleet in Hawaiian Waters. Richardson knew of the problems and vulnerability of Pearl Harbor, the safety of his men and warships was paramount.

In a luncheon with Roosevelt, Richardson confronted the President, and by doing so ended his military career. Four months later Richardson was removed as commander-in-chief, and replaced by Rear Admiral Husband Kimmel (Stinnett 11). Kimmel by many top Naval personal was looked down upon on, for taking orders from Roosevelt and not considering the immediate dangers he was putting the fleet in. The second part of McCollum’s eight-action memo was a forceful control on Japans trade and economy. He insisted that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for oil (Action G), and a complete embargo of all trade with Japan (Action H), by the United States.

This embargo closely represented a similar embargo that was being imposed by the British Empire. McCollum also knew that if Japan controlled the Pacific, it would put a strain on America’s resources for copper, rubber, tin, and other valuable goods. These imports from the Pacific were all essential to America’s Economy, and to protect these trading routes McCollum insisted for all possible aid to be given to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek (Action C). Japan had some control over China due to a military operation, which took over part of the country. Thanks to the control, Japan took and used many raw goods from China that were not in abundance in their own homeland. The government of Chiang Kai-shek was completely against Japan, and with economic support from the United States, they were able to deny certain possessions from Japan.

The United States Government and United States Navy by withholding important information about the bombing of Pearl Harbor have done everything they can do to protect the integrity of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the government. True nationalist believe this information is withheld from the general public in order to protect national security, and not to hide a conspiracy that was created by the United States Government some fifty years ago. This school of thought asks people and wants them to think, “How in the world could the President of the United States sacrifice over 2400 American seamen’s life’s, horrific amounts of damages to the Fleet, and tremendous amounts of destruction to Army fighter planes?” This group also asks, “In the past fifty years why has there not be one single piece of hard evidence which links Roosevelt to Pearl Harbor, or why has there not been one person who had top security clearance to come out and say something about Roosevelt and his involvement with the bombing?” On 5 December 1941 at a Cabinet meeting, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox said, “Well, you know Mr. President, we know where the Japanese fleet is?” “Yes, I know, .. Well, you tell them what it is Frank,” said Roosevelt (Toland 294).

Knox became extremely excited with the ok from Roosevelt, and he went to tell the group of where the Japanese were and where they were headed. Just as Knox was about to speak Roosevelt interrupted saying, ” We haven’t got anything like perfect information as to their apparent destination (Toland 294).” All Navy reports showed the Japanese were in Pacific Water, and were in a direction towards Hawaii and Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt knew this information, but one must wonder why in the world would he not want to tell his cabinet this information, unless he wanted to hide something? On 6 December 1941 at a White House dinner Roosevelt was given the first thirteen parts of a fifteen part decoded Japanese diplomatic declaration of war and said, “This means War (Toland 318).” Later that night, Roosevelt along with top advisor Harry Hopkins, Henry Stimson, George Marshall, Secretary of the Navy Knox, with aides John McCrea and Frank Beatty deliberately sat through the night waiting for the Japanese to strike Pear Harbor (Toland 320). Not until the morning of 7 December 1941 at 7:55 Hawaii Time did Japan deliberately and forcefully attack the United States at Pearl Harbor, finally ending disillusioned isolationist ideas of an only European War. United States countrymen immediately ran to recruiting offices after the news of the attack, to join the armed forces and fight against the Japanese and Hitler.

Beyond a doubt Pearl Harbor was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s back door into the European War. Roosevelt’s decisions and actions were very much so, deliberate and calculated, in order to lead a victorious Allied Powers in World War II. By provoking the Japanese and the foreknowledge of an attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt along with his top advisors and the Federal Government are truly to blame for the lost of American life’s and American property. 7 December 1941 shall be a day in American history, which will be remembered as “a day of deceit.” History.

Pearl Harbor

By the year 1941, WWII was in full effect. Germany seemed to be the victor, gaining control of France and Poland as well as successfully bombing England. Many people believe that Germany would have indeed won the war if not for the intervention of the United States. Because of the horror Americans had witnessed in WWI, the United States did not originally want to get involved in the conflict. In the early morning of December 7th, 1941 all that changed when the Japanese air fleet scattered in the Pacific Ocean bombed Pearl Harbor.
In September of 1940 Japan entered in alliance with Germany and Italy. The Japanese were in need of natural resources found in Southeast Asian countries newly conquered by Germany. Around the same time in the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to halt German and Japanese expansion but was urged by other government officials to leave the situation as it was. Japan feared America’s reaction to their plans to seize Southeast Asia, yet did not let that fear get in their way.
Japan completed their control of Indochina by seizing the southern half. The American government answered back by placing an embargo on oil shipments heading for Japan. The Japanese viewed this as an act of war, for they knew their military and industrial forces would not last long with out oil. The United States tried to resolve their differences with Japan, throughout 1941. Demands on each side were quite simple. The Japanese wanted the embargo lifted and permission to attempt an attack on China. The U.S. exclaimed they would only lift the embargo if Japan ceased its aggression towards China. The two powers refused to compromise and a war seemed inevitable.
America realized Japan would not budge and strategically place military forces in the Pacific Ocean in preparation for a pending war. In fact, the most crucial element of American defense was the U.S. Pacific Fleet. With war looming the Pacific Fleet was moved to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on April 2nd , 1940. Pearl Harbor seemed to be the perfect place to rest the fleet. Situated between the Marshall Islands, where the Japanese fleet gathered and the west coast of America. The fleet wasn’t supposed to stay in the harbor very long yet because of events in Europe, President Roosevelt felt if the fleet was left in the harbor it would diminish the possibility of a Japanese attack on the U.S. the exact opposite proved to be true.
On February 1st , 1941, Admiral James O. Richardson was officially replaced by Admiral Husband E. Kimmel. Richardson was supposedly removed because he strongly voiced his disagreement with the U.S. Pacific Fleet spending any more time in Pearl Harbor then they already had. Kimmel shared that view, and also wanted to keep his office, so he simply kept his opinion to himself. The fleet’s main objective while staying in their new location, was to distract the Japan from South Asia by, capturing the Caroline and Marshall Islands, disturbing Japanese trade routes and defending Guam and Hawaii as well as the United States. Admiral Isoroku Yamado, commander-in-chief of Japan’s Combined Fleet devised a plan that would protect the Japanese mainland from European invasion as well as launch offensive maneuvers. He decided to attack Pearl Harbor and Allied forces in Southeast Asia simultaneously, in an effort to demoralize American forces. Yamado felt this was the closet way to get a peace settlement. The attack was carefully planned out and guidelines were established, surprise was crucial, aircraft carriers were the primary targets to avoid opposition, all types of bombing were to be used, it would be necessary to refuel at sea and a daylight attack would be most affective. There was much opposition from Japanese Naval General Staff yet the attack went on as planned.
After the bombing, out of 100 U.S. Naval ships in the harbor thirteen battleships and eleven smaller ships were damaged or destroyed. The bombing also claimed the lives of 2,335 men and 68 civilians as well as wounding over 1000.
News of the attack traveled quickly and shocked the entire Nation. War was soon declared on Japan and America wanted revenge for the lives of the men who died in the early morning of December 7th. Germany and Italy then declared war on the U.S. , truly making this a global conflict.
The U.S. would later drop two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing Japan to complete surrender in 1945.


Bibliography:

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now
x

Hi!
I'm Adrienne!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out