How War Came: An American White Paper; from the Fall of France to Pearl Harbor

How War Came: An American White Paper; from the Fall of France to Pearl Harbor

How War Came: An American White Paper; from the Fall of France to Pearl Harbor

How War Came: An American White Paper; from the Fall of France to Pearl Harbor

Excerpt

This is an informal report to the American people. It tells how, with no aggression in their hearts, they found themselves fighting at the end of 1941 on all the continents and all the seas. It deals with the men and events, the ideas and impulses, that shaped American policy during the immensely significant months between the battle of Sedan, in May, 1940, and Pearl Harbor.

In compiling this report, the authors have sought reliable information wherever it could be obtained. They had, to begin, the voluminous day-by-day record chronicled in the press by seasoned Washington correspondents, including alert and discerning reporters assigned to the White House, the State Department, and other divisions of the government with duties bearing on foreign policy. In reviewing these fateful months, the authors have been impressed by the earnest and persevering efforts made by responsible officials to take the American people into their confidence, to acquaint them fully with the policies and methods of American diplomacy as well as the vital issues at stake.

There were, of course, facts which could not be revealed currently without damage to the national interest. With the passage of time, certain of these can be disclosed. In particular, when the Japanese spread sudden death over the island of Oahu, they brought to an end some of the most delicate negotiations in the history of American diplomacy.

The authors, of course, have examined the official records to the extent that they are available. But a true report cannot be founded upon documents alone. The hurried conference, the telephone conversation of which no record exists, the backgrounds and ways of thinking and moods of the men who made the day-by-day decisions, the political climate in which . . .

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