Introduction Pearl Harbor was vulnerable to attack because of the obstruction of defense and warning.
I.Signs of Japans intent to attack
III.Neglected warning signs near Pearl Harbor soon before the attack
The attack on Pearl Harbor has been known to be a complete surprise. Whenever one thinks about it, they consider that it was. They may think that it was a total surprise except for a few small warning signs that our government seems to have ignored. Children are taught that Pearl Harbor is the “Surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor” in school. It has gone into history as this. Even the president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, said in a speech soon after the attacks it was, but he was lying. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in fact, and a few select top armed forces advisors working closely with him are directly responsible for the surprise of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many opportunities to prevent and defend the attacks upon Pearl Harbor were never taken.
The United States government knew well of Japans intent to attack Pearl Harbor well before the occurred. The attack may have been a surprise to Pearl Harbor, but it sure wasnt to Franklin D. Roosevelt and few select top armed forces advisors of his. An investigation after the attack revealed that the intercepting station received at least forty-three different decoded messages that had clues to the attack. The president had at least four intelligence officers under direct orders from Roosevelt. They had decoded the Japanese code and had been monitoring their communications before the attack. They knew all about news of the planned attack. In 48 hours before the attack, LTC Clifford M. Andrew, was told to burn forty file cabinets of top secret information on Pearl Harbor so no investigation could seek out the truth which was labeled top secret and destroyed.
Why did Franklin D. Roosevelt hinder any warnings to go though to Pearl Harbor? He knew that most of American society before the Pearl Harbor bombing believed in the idea of isolationism. The only way in which United States countrymen would take arms and fight in Europes War was to be an overt action against the United States by a member of the Axis Power.
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.
Roosevelt had wanted to enter the war for a long time. He believed Hitler would not declare war on the United States unless he thought they were beatable. Also, the United States public opinion was against going to war due to the stable and booming economy. Most of American society before the Pearl Harbor attack also believed in the idea of isolationism. Americans didnt want to get into the European war if they didnt have to. The only way in which Roosevelt could obtain support from the American people to enter the war was that a member of the Axis Power needed to make the first move. In other words, the Americans would need something to revenge from.
To get the Japanese to attack, Roosevelt would need to provoke Japan. Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum provided him with a detailed, eight-step procedure for making Japan to make the first overt move into war. The United States government made an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore. They cooperated with Holland for the use of base facilities in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). They would give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek. A division of long-range heavy cruisers would be sent to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore. They would send two divisions of submarines to the Orient. They would keep the main strength of the US Fleet, now in the Pacific, in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands. It also said to insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil. Lastly, it said to completely embargo all trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo.
At least a few warning signs right around Pearl Harbor were ignored soon before the attacks. One of them was the repeated sightings of midget submarines. At 4:00AM an unidentified submarine was spotted at the mouth of the harbor. The U.S.S. Ward rushed to investigate. When the Ward reached where the submarine had been, there was no trace of it anywhere. Then at 6:30AM the submarine was spotted again. The U.S.S. Ward raced to the sighting spot, and this time they found it. They dropped 2 depth charges, and sunk the sub. This was one of five midgets subs, sent by the Japanese as yet another surprise to the U.S. to inflict more damage to our fleet.
Another sign of the attack came at 7:22AM, when radar at Pearl Harbor had picked up the incoming Japanese aircraft, over 50 planes headed at high speed for Pearl Harbor. This was mistaken for a fleet of B-17’s arriving from the West Coast expected later that morning. Some at the radar station were worried, but no action was taken. The last warning before the attack was neglected. When the attack started, many soldiers thought it was a drill and nobody took action right away.
There may have been a positive side to the attack. Overall, Roosevelt did many things considered wrong and abusive to his right of presidency. However, had he not, the United States may never have entered the war. And certainly we would not have been as united in our stand against evil, for the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor made Americans sympathetic for our striped men and women, causing more help from the mass majority of Americans, eventually leading to victory in World War II. Had Nazi Germany won, no one knows the extent of evil that would have been caused. Even though Franklin Delano Roosevelt did many wrong things, his reasoning was good, and we were victorious.
Yes, in its self, December 7th 1941 was known mostly to be a day that will live in infamy, for the destruction of part of Americas military power, many lives lost, and the start of the war for the U.S. To sum this report up, December 7, 1941 should be better known for the day that will live in infamy because of the obstruction of warning or basic defense that would have certainly saved many lives and military property.
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