Pearl Harbor6 Essay

This essay has a total of 1635 words and 7 pages.


Pearl Harbor6





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. 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.

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