What Happened at Pearl Harbor? Documents Pertaining to the Japanese Attack of December 7, 1941, and Its Background

What Happened at Pearl Harbor? Documents Pertaining to the Japanese Attack of December 7, 1941, and Its Background

What Happened at Pearl Harbor? Documents Pertaining to the Japanese Attack of December 7, 1941, and Its Background

What Happened at Pearl Harbor? Documents Pertaining to the Japanese Attack of December 7, 1941, and Its Background

Excerpt

What happened at Pearl Harbor? As long as Americans take an interest in their history, this question will be asked, and, judging by a similar question about Fort Sumter, the answers will depend on the point of view of the writer. Certain it is that the tangled web of events leading up to the destruction of the United States Pacific Fleet at its anchorage on December 7, 1941, is among the most fascinating sequences of historical drama ever enacted. All the great powers of the world at war but one . . . that last one on the brink of war, in possession of the secret codes of its enemies, forewarned but wholly surprised, and finally forced to enter the greatest conflict of all times with a sense of shame, anger, and feeling of deception by someone, somewhere, sometime . . . . It is a story without parallel. That Americans have wondered ever since whether they were duped by the enemy, let down by their leaders, or taken in by a sinister conspiracy, is hardly surprising. Depending on their political and ideological preconceptions, they have sought varying answers to these questions.

During the first week of December, 1941, the United Stateswas in the midst of a serious diplomatic crisis which had been developing for many years. Ever since Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, there had been no real peace in the Far East, and ever since Hitler assumed power in Germany in 1933, there had been no real basis for peace in Europe. As the most industrialized of the great powers, America had been unable to escape from the effects of the shifting balance of power in Europe and Asia; as the world's largest democracy, the United States had been threatened by the rise of Fascism and Nazism. When Germany and Japan signed the Anti-

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