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FDR-Pearl Harbor


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#1    LucidElement

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:47 AM

:Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

As most of us (all of us should know) this was the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. What many may or may not know is the night before the Navy was in celebatration. The morning after, the lookout towers spotted incoming Japanese plans but it had been to late to get the Navy Fleet to there proper posistions.

The reason for this topic is not just a conspiracy as much as it historical fact tied into controversy.... FDR 24-48hrs before Pearl Harbor was in his office (behind closed doors, with either the emporer of Japan or one of the Emporers closest cabinet members, dont remember which one exactly).. Many people question what was talked about, but till this day we will not know.

I emailed my history professor, who is one of the head honchos in the department at MSU (I graduated with a history major a few years back) and he replied to me with this statement. However. I would like to know what you all think, for those who have heard abou this before? and if not, maybe what you guys research and can find on the net that maybe i missed... its pretty interesting, at least to me it is...

________

FROM PROFESSOR **********************

"Dear (my name, lol)..".See David Kennedy's FREEDOM FROM FEAR on this. There's no doubt that the Japanese were trying to reach a diplomatic solution to the embargo right up until the decision to go ahead with Pearl. It was perhaps a missed opportunity by the US to avoid war:

___________

But if that were the case why wouldnt FDR warn the Navy at Pearl Harbor?? There wouldnt have been that celebration the night before (i forgot what the celebaration entalied) BUT why not a warning?

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#2    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:03 AM

Sorry, FDR met Hirohito personally and in person, just 24 or 48 hours before Pearl Harbor was attacked? Well, this is certainly Alternative history, as long as Alternative means completley fictitious.

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#3    LucidElement

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:17 AM

The American military had broken Japanese codes.
Yes. However, what they had broken were diplomatic codes. During the pre-war negotiations with Japan, Roosevelt often knew what the Japanese were prepared to offer and willing to settle for. The messages sent on December 6th made it perfectly clear to Roosevelt that the Japanese government was planning to declare war upon the United States.

One of the most important elements in America's foreknowledge of Japan's intentions was our government's success in cracking Japan's secret diplomatic code known as "Purple." Tokyo used it to communicate to its embassies and consulates, including those in Washington and Hawaii. The code was so complex that it was enciphered and deciphered by machine. A talented group of American cryptoanalysts broke the code in 1940 and devised a facsimile of the Japanese machine. These, utilized by the intelligence sections of both the War and Navy departments, swiftly revealed Japan's diplomatic messages. The deciphered texts were nicknamed "Magic."

Copies of Magic were always promptly delivered in locked pouches to President Roosevelt, and the secretaries of State, War, and Navy. They also went to Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall and to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold Stark. However, although three Purple decoding machines were allotted to Britain, none was sent to Pearl Harbor. Intercepts of ciphered messages radioed between Tokyo and its Honolulu consulate had to be forwarded to Washington for decrypting. Thus Kimmel and Short, the Hawaiian commanders, were at the mercy of Washington for feedback. A request for their own decoding machine was rebuffed on the grounds that diplomatic traffic was of insufficient interest to soldiers.

How untrue that was! On October 9, 1941, the War Department decoded a Tokyo-to-Honolulu dispatch instructing the Consul General to divide Pearl Harbor into five specified areas and to report the exact locations of American ships therein.

There is nothing unusual about spies watching ship movements — but reporting precise whereabouts of ships in dock has only one implication. Charles Willoughby, Douglas MacArthur's chief of intelligence, later wrote that the "reports were on a grid system of the inner harbor with coordinate locations of American men of war ... coordinate grid is the classical method for pinpoint target designation; our battleships had suddenly become targets." This information was never sent to Kimmel or Short.

Additional intercepts were decoded by Washington, all within one day of their original transmission:

• November 5th: Tokyo notified its Washington ambassadors that November 25th was the deadline for an agreement with the U.S.
• November 11th: They were warned, "The situation is nearing a climax, and the time is getting short."
• November 16th: The deadline was pushed up to November 29th. "The deadline absolutely cannot be changed," the dispatch said. "After that, things are automatically going to happen."
• November 29th (the U.S. ultimatum had now been received): The ambassadors were told a rupture in negotiations was "inevitable," but that Japan's leaders "do not wish you to give the impression that negotiations are broken off."
• November 30th: Tokyo ordered its Berlin embassy to inform the Germans that "the breaking out of war may come quicker than anyone dreams."
• December 1st: The deadline was again moved ahead. "[T]o prevent the United States from becoming unduly suspicious, we have been advising the press and others that ... the negotiations are continuing."• December 1st-2nd: The Japanese embassies in non-Axis nations around the world were directed to dispose of their secret documents and all but one copy of their codes. (This was for a reason easy to fathom — when war breaks out, the diplomatic offices of a hostile state lose their immunity and are normally overtaken. One copy of code was retained so that final instructions could be received, after which the last code copy would be destroyed.)

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#4    LucidElement

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:18 AM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 31 October 2013 - 10:03 AM, said:

Sorry, FDR met Hirohito personally and in person, just 24 or 48 hours before Pearl Harbor was attacked? Well, this is certainly Alternative history, as long as Alternative means completley fictitious.

So you dont believe he met Hirohito? but your could agree that we had the knowledge that an attack was incoming, espically with the information provided above?

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#5    Frank Merton

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:31 AM

I've heard all this before and I've seen it all debunked before.  The thing I always wondered is what would the Americans have done differently if they had known?  Send the ships all out of harbor so they would really be sitting ducks?  The States, because of "America Firsters," was utterly unprepared.


#6    lightly

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:44 AM

http://www.history.n...aqs/faq66-1.htm

     In the hours before dawn, U.S. Navy vessels spotted an unidentified submarine periscope near the entrance to Pearl Harbor. It was attacked and reported sunk by the destroyer USS Ward (DD-139) and a patrol plane. At 7:00 a.m., an alert operator of an Army radar station at Opana spotted the approaching first wave of the attack force. The officers to whom those reports were relayed did not consider them significant enough to take action. The report of the submarine sinking was handled routinely, and the radar sighting was passed off as an approaching group of American planes due to arrive that morning.

****

   The Japanese success was overwhelming, but it was not complete. They failed to damage any American aircraft carriers, which by a stroke of luck, had been absent from the harbor.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#7    Peter B

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:40 PM

View PostLucidElement, on 31 October 2013 - 09:47 AM, said:

...FDR 24-48hrs before Pearl Harbor was in his office (behind closed doors, with either the emporer of Japan or one of the Emporers closest cabinet members, dont remember which one exactly).. Many people question what was talked about, but till this day we will not know.
It'd be useful if you could be a bit more precise about who Roosevelt is supposed to have met, and when. As President he's likely to have met a lot of people in any one 24 hour period.

He certainly didn't meet Emperor Hirohito. He's also unlikely to have met any Japanese cabinet ministers - if the Japanese were about to attack the USA they'd hardly have one of their senior politicians in the USA. The Secretary of State had been meeting with the Japanese ambassador to the USA over the course of several months, with the last meeting hours after the Pearl Harbor attack, so I'm wondering if that's who you're thinking of.

Quote

I emailed my history professor, who is one of the head honchos in the department at MSU...
Which MSU?

Quote

...(I graduated with a history major a few years back) and he replied to me with this statement. However. I would like to know what you all think, for those who have heard abou this before? and if not, maybe what you guys research and can find on the net that maybe i missed... its pretty interesting, at least to me it is...

________

FROM PROFESSOR **********************

"Dear (my name, lol)..".See David Kennedy's FREEDOM FROM FEAR on this. There's no doubt that the Japanese were trying to reach a diplomatic solution to the embargo right up until the decision to go ahead with Pearl. It was perhaps a missed opportunity by the US to avoid war:

___________
Yes, the Japanese were hoping to avoid war with the USA. The problem was that the US Government's position was that they'd lift their trade embargo on Japan only if the Japanese pulled out of China. Given the effort the Japanese had invested since 1937 in trying to conquer China, that was unacceptable to the Japanese government.

Quote

But if that were the case why wouldnt FDR warn the Navy at Pearl Harbor?? There wouldnt have been that celebration the night before (i forgot what the celebaration entalied) BUT why not a warning?
Once again, it'd be useful if you could be a bit more precise about this celebration. Having said that, the US military were not prepared for immediate warfare in the days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Issues included not wanting to upset the civilian population, not wanting to be seen as the aggressors in any outbreak of warfare, and simply not thinking Pearl Harbor was a possible target for attack.

Regarding the last point, American military planners thought, for example, that the Phillipines would be the primary target of an initial Japanese attack, along with British and Dutch territories in south Asia; they didn't think the Japanese had the ability or resources to send an attacking force all the way to Hawaii. Additionally, they apparently thought the waters of Pearl Harbor were too shallow for torpedoes to be used against their ships. Finally, the US military authorities in Hawaii were at least partially aware of threats, but they were more concerned about sabotage. As a result planes were parked close together to be more easily guarded, rather than dispersed.


#8    Peter B

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 01:04 PM

View PostLucidElement, on 31 October 2013 - 10:17 AM, said:

The American military had broken Japanese codes.
Yes. However, what they had broken were diplomatic codes. During the pre-war negotiations with Japan, Roosevelt often knew what the Japanese were prepared to offer and willing to settle for. The messages sent on December 6th made it perfectly clear to Roosevelt that the Japanese government was planning to declare war upon the United States.

One of the most important elements in America's foreknowledge of Japan's intentions was our government's success in cracking Japan's secret diplomatic code known as "Purple." Tokyo used it to communicate to its embassies and consulates, including those in Washington and Hawaii. The code was so complex that it was enciphered and deciphered by machine. A talented group of American cryptoanalysts broke the code in 1940 and devised a facsimile of the Japanese machine. These, utilized by the intelligence sections of both the War and Navy departments, swiftly revealed Japan's diplomatic messages. The deciphered texts were nicknamed "Magic."
My understanding is that the Americans were chronically short of people to do the decrypting and analysis of the intercepted documents. On top of that I understand that a lot of what they intercepted was information of little relevance.

Quote

Copies of Magic were always promptly delivered in locked pouches to President Roosevelt, and the secretaries of State, War, and Navy. They also went to Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall and to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold Stark. However, although three Purple decoding machines were allotted to Britain, none was sent to Pearl Harbor. Intercepts of ciphered messages radioed between Tokyo and its Honolulu consulate had to be forwarded to Washington for decrypting. Thus Kimmel and Short, the Hawaiian commanders, were at the mercy of Washington for feedback. A request for their own decoding machine was rebuffed on the grounds that diplomatic traffic was of insufficient interest to soldiers.
My understanding is that military bureaucracy can be just as bad as civilian bureaucracy.

Quote

How untrue that was! On October 9, 1941, the War Department decoded a Tokyo-to-Honolulu dispatch instructing the Consul General to divide Pearl Harbor into five specified areas and to report the exact locations of American ships therein.

There is nothing unusual about spies watching ship movements — but reporting precise whereabouts of ships in dock has only one implication. Charles Willoughby, Douglas MacArthur's chief of intelligence, later wrote that the "reports were on a grid system of the inner harbor with coordinate locations of American men of war ... coordinate grid is the classical method for pinpoint target designation; our battleships had suddenly become targets." This information was never sent to Kimmel or Short.
It's easy to be wise after the event. And yes, the significance of the request perhaps should have been noted at the time. However the request gives no indication about the nature of any attack against the ships. As for Kimmell and Short not being notified, is there any clear evidence the information was deliberately withheld or can it be put down to incompetence, disorganisation or lack of staff? Consider, for example, that the US Navy was quite capable of military incompetence in a number of areas after the USA entered the war (naval battles at Guadalcanal, loss of merchant ships off the Atlantic coast in the first half of 1942).

Quote

Additional intercepts were decoded by Washington, all within one day of their original transmission:

• November 5th: Tokyo notified its Washington ambassadors that November 25th was the deadline for an agreement with the U.S.
• November 11th: They were warned, "The situation is nearing a climax, and the time is getting short."
• November 16th: The deadline was pushed up to November 29th. "The deadline absolutely cannot be changed," the dispatch said. "After that, things are automatically going to happen."
• November 29th (the U.S. ultimatum had now been received): The ambassadors were told a rupture in negotiations was "inevitable," but that Japan's leaders "do not wish you to give the impression that negotiations are broken off."
• November 30th: Tokyo ordered its Berlin embassy to inform the Germans that "the breaking out of war may come quicker than anyone dreams."
• December 1st: The deadline was again moved ahead. "[T]o prevent the United States from becoming unduly suspicious, we have been advising the press and others that ... the negotiations are continuing."
• December 1st-2nd: The Japanese embassies in non-Axis nations around the world were directed to dispose of their secret documents and all but one copy of their codes. (This was for a reason easy to fathom — when war breaks out, the diplomatic offices of a hostile state lose their immunity and are normally overtaken. One copy of code was retained so that final instructions could be received, after which the last code copy would be destroyed.)
Note that none of those messages gives any indication about where the Japanese would attack. In reading these intercepts, the main conclusion the American political leaders would reach is that Japan intends to attack the USA under the cover of negotiations. In that case the best response is to ensure that any initiation of hostilities is by the Japanese, giving the USA the moral high ground in the court of world opinion. American military planners assumed the Japanese would limit their initial attacks against American territories to the Phillipines, meaning that the effect of the attack on American military strength would be limited. With their own fleet a few thousand miles away in Hawaii, it was well positioned for a counter-attack.


#9    PersonFromPorlock

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:40 AM

The movie "Tora Tora Tora," in addition to being beautifully made, made a deliberate attempt to accurately reproduce the events in Japan, Washington and Hawaii leading up to the attack, as well as the attack itself. Fictionalized, but highly recommended as an enjoyable way to learn the history, with no more error in it than most histories.

Edited by PersonFromPorlock, 01 November 2013 - 12:42 AM.


#10    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:45 AM

View PostPersonFromPorlock, on 01 November 2013 - 12:40 AM, said:

The movie "Tora Tora Tora," in addition to being beautifully made, made a deliberate attempt to accurately reproduce the events in Japan, Washington and Hawaii leading up to the attack, as well as the attack itself. Fictionalized, but highly recommended as an enjoyable way to learn the history, with no more error in it than most histories.
Oh yes. Compare with Pearl Harbor, (2001).

Life is a hideous business, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous.

H. P. Lovecraft.


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#11    LucidElement

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:57 AM

View PostPeter B, on 31 October 2013 - 12:40 PM, said:

It'd be useful if you could be a bit more precise about who Roosevelt is supposed to have met, and when. As President he's likely to have met a lot of people in any one 24 hour period.

He certainly didn't meet Emperor Hirohito. He's also unlikely to have met any Japanese cabinet ministers - if the Japanese were about to attack the USA they'd hardly have one of their senior politicians in the USA. The Secretary of State had been meeting with the Japanese ambassador to the USA over the course of several months, with the last meeting hours after the Pearl Harbor attack, so I'm wondering if that's who you're thinking of.


Which MSU?


Yes, the Japanese were hoping to avoid war with the USA. The problem was that the US Government's position was that they'd lift their trade embargo on Japan only if the Japanese pulled out of China. Given the effort the Japanese had invested since 1937 in trying to conquer China, that was unacceptable to the Japanese government.


Once again, it'd be useful if you could be a bit more precise about this celebration. Having said that, the US military were not prepared for immediate warfare in the days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Issues included not wanting to upset the civilian population, not wanting to be seen as the aggressors in any outbreak of warfare, and simply not thinking Pearl Harbor was a possible target for attack.

Regarding the last point, American military planners thought, for example, that the Phillipines would be the primary target of an initial Japanese attack, along with British and Dutch territories in south Asia; they didn't think the Japanese had the ability or resources to send an attacking force all the way to Hawaii. Additionally, they apparently thought the waters of Pearl Harbor were too shallow for torpedoes to be used against their ships. Finally, the US military authorities in Hawaii were at least partially aware of threats, but they were more concerned about sabotage. As a result planes were parked close together to be more easily guarded, rather than dispersed.

Montana State University..

From Professor ****......Best to read David Kennedy's FREEDOM FROM FEAR on this--he has all the details. But no, the idea that FDR deliberately failed to inform the fleet has been proven false again and again. Once the people conducting the negotiations had indications that things had gone badly awry, they did send a message to Pearl--it was tragically delayed by problems with the transmission."

Edited by LucidElement, 01 November 2013 - 09:01 AM.

"The Truth Is Out There, Its Up To Us To Find The Answers."

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#12    spud the mackem

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:52 AM

If the Japanese had not attacked Pearl would the Americans have eventually have entered WW2. The German Army was the most powerfull in the world,the problem was they were fighting about another 30 countries,and would have taken a long long time to defeat without American help.Britain could not have done it alone and Russia was on its knees.

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